Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the final results of the 2015 CHL Import Draft.
The 24th annual CHL Import Draft included a total of 78 players selected from 14 different countries led by 21 players from Russia and consisting of 50 forwards and 28 defencemen.
The two-round draft took 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 2014-15 season.
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan used the first overall pick to acquire 17-year-old Russian forward Vladimir Kuznetsov. At 6’2’’, 189lb, Kuznetsov played last season in Russia’s MHL for Avto Yekaterinburg and also won gold at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia. A pair of 2016 NHL Draft prospects round out the top three including Czech defenceman Libor Hajek selected second overall by the Saskatoon Blades, and Russian forward Dmitry Sokolov chosen third overall by the Sudbury Wolves.
The 2015 CHL Import Draft featured 15 players selected in the 2015 NHL Draft including a trio of second round picks such as Anaheim Ducks prospect Julius Nattinen selected 51st overall by the Barrie Colts, Los Angeles Kings prospect Erik Cernak chosen 54th overall by the Erie Otters, and Calgary Flames prospect Oliver Kylington selected 60th overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings. Four third round NHL Draft picks were also selected including Detroit Red Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi chosen ninth overall by the Flint Firebirds, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Martins Dzierkals chosen 22nd overall by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Kings prospect Alexander Dergachev chosen 40th overall by the Shawinigan Cataractes, and New York Rangers prospect Robin Kovacs chosen 108th overall by the North Bay Battalion. The first NHL Draft prospect selected was fifth round Vancouver Canucks prospect Radovan Bondra chosen eighth overall by the Vancouver Giants.
2015 NHL Draft picks in CHL Import Draft:
8. Radovan Bondra (Vancouver) (CHI 5)
9. Vili Saarijarvi (Flint) (DET 3)
10. Dmitry Zhukenov (Chicoutimi) (VAN 4)
15. Jonne Tammela (Peterborough) (TB 4)
22. Martins Dzierkals (Rouyn-Noranda) (TOR 3)
33. David Kase (Niagara) (PHI 5)
40. Alexander Dergachev (Shawinigan) (LA 3)
44. Gustav Olhaver (Seattle) (COL 7)
47. Michael Spacek (Red Deer) (WPG 4)
51. Julius Nattinen (Barrie) (ANA 2)
54. Erik Cernak (Erie) (LA 2)
60. Oliver Kylington (Brandon) (CGY 2)
82. Karlis Cukste (Rouyn-Noranda) (SJ 5)
105. Daniel Bernhardt (London) (NYR 4)
108. Robin Kovacs (North Bay) (NYR 3)
A total of 33 players selected in the 2015 CHL Import Draft are eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, while four players selected are not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2017.
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.
2015 CHL Import Draft Summary:
Draft Picks by Position:
Forward – 50
Defence – 28
Draft Picks by Country:
Russia – 21
Czech Republic – 12
Finland – 9
Sweden – 9
Germany – 5
Switzerland – 5
Slovakia – 4
Austria – 3
Denmark – 3
Latvia – 3
Belarus – 1
Netherlands – 1
Slovenia – 1
Ukraine – 1
Draft Picks by Birthdate and NHL Status:
1998-born late and 2017 NHL Draft eligible – 4
1998-born and 2016 NHL Draft eligible – 30
1997-born late and 2016 Draft eligible – 3
1997-born and 2015 NHL Drafted – 12
1997-born and NHL Undrafted – 16
1996-born and 2015 NHL Drafted – 3
1996-born and NHL Undrafted – 10
A total of 14 players acquired through previous CHL Import Drafts were recently selected in the 2015 NHL Draft including five first round picks led by last year’s top Import Draft pick Pavel Zacha, a Czech born forward of the Sarnia Sting, chosen sixth overall by the New Jersey Devils. Russian defenceman Ivan Provorov of the Brandon Wheat Kings was chosen seventh overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, Swiss forward Timo Meier of the Halifax Mooseheads went ninth overall to the San Jose Sharks, Czech defenceman Jakub Zboril of the Saint John Sea Dogs went 13th overall to the Boston Bruins, and Russian forward Evgeny Svechnikov of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles who was chosen 19th overall by the Detroit Red Wings.
Last season a total of 71 players were selected from 12 different countries led by 25 players from Russia and consisting of a total of 50 forwards and 21 defencemen.