Monday, June 30, 2014

The Import Draft Is Coming

The Saint John Sea Dogs will be selecting fifth overall in Wednesday’s 2014 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.

This year’s draft begins later than in past years, starting at noon Atlantic time. The CHL released some details today. From the CHL website:

The two-round draft will take place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues using an inverse order of final regular season standings within each league from the 2013-14 season.  The OHL’s Sarnia Sting hold the number one pick, followed by the Quebec Remparts who acquired the second overall selection following a 2012 trade with the Sherbrooke Phoenix.  The WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes will select third overall.  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 Sea Dogs will select fifth and 65th overall on Wednesday and it appears the team plans on using both picks. Saint John dressed just one import player last season – and that one player, Jurij Repe, is not expected to be back - due to Juraj Siska being unable to play because of injury.

Saint John drafted Siska ninth overall in last year’s draft and had knowledge of his injury. The selection likely played a role in Mike Kelly’s firing.

New Dogs general manager Darrell Young will look to drastically improve Saint John’s Import Draft fortunes. Young is well connected in the hockey world and this draft is often more about who you know than where you pick.

Looking ahead, this could be a big moment for the Sea Dogs. Saint John has a solid core group in place and can add another significant piece or two on Wednesday.

Having high picks in the Import Draft is nothing new for the Sea Dogs. They selected forward Martin Bartos fifth overall in 2005, defenseman David Stich fourth overall in 2006, goaltender Robert Mayer third overall in 2007, forward Stanislav Galiev first overall in 2009, and forward Tomas Jurco fourth overall in 2009.

The CHL Import Draft can be followed live on the CHL website on Wednesday.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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