Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CHL Import Draft Is Today

The 2013 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft takes place today. The event, done online, begins at noon Atlantic time.

The Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants have the first overall pick. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles will pick third while the Halifax Mooseheads will select sixth and 12th.

Meanwhile, the Saint John Sea Dogs hold the ninth and 69th overall picks. They are expected to use at least one of those selections, presumably to replace forward Jakub Izacky.

Saint John chose Izacky and defenseman Jurij Repe in last year’s Import Draft. Izacky, although he did lead the team in scoring last season (excluding Jonathan Huberdeau), would take up an overage spot and an import spot this season which is not ideal.

Some Import Draft rule changes have been announced. From the QMJHL website:

New in 2013, teams are no longer permitted to trade picks up to or during the CHL Import Draft process, while the only goaltenders eligible to be selected are those born in 1994 or 1995 and are only permitted to be selected during the first round.  Each team in the CHL is permitted to dress and play a maximum of two import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft. 

The Import Draft is a bizarre event. Unlike most sports drafts where fans know who the top prospects are going in, everyone heads into this thing blind. In 2009, basically all we knew about Tomas Jurco was that he had a cool video on YouTube.

The Dogs have had success at the Import Draft in the past. Here’s who they have selected in recent years:

2005: 5th overall - Martin Bartos
2005: 41st overall - Felix Schutz
2006: 4th overall – David Stich
2007: 3rd overall - Robert Mayer
2009: 1st overall – Stanislav Galiev
2009: 4th overall – Tomas Jurco
2012: 34th overall – Jurij Repe
2012: 52nd overall – Jakub Izacky

This is basically the last event until training camp begins in August. So soak it all in.

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