ST. CATHARINES, ON – The Niagara IceDogs are pleased to announce they have received commitments from 2018 CHL Import Draft selections Daniel Bukac and Kyen Sopa.
Bukac, a 19-year-old defenceman from Most, Czech Republic, played in the WHL for the Brandon Wheat Kings from 2016-18. The 6-foot-5, 207lb. blueliner, known for being a big-bodied shutdown presence, represented his country at the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Hockey Championship as well as the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament. Bukac was a seventh round (204th overall) pick of the Boston Bruins at the 2017 NHL Draft. He was Niagara’s second round (96th overall) pick in the CHL Import Draft.
General Manager Joey Burke is thrilled to be adding this strong, stay at home defenceman to the organization for the upcoming season. “Daniel is a big addition for our club. He provides help in an area we needed to improve in. A proven player at this level who brings size, defensive prowess as well as strength, adds a special dynamic to our group. Anytime you can add an NHL drafted player, it always makes an impact. We look forward to the pedigree Daniel will bring. This is yet another exciting signing for us this off season, and Daniel will be fun to watch in Niagara.”
Sopa, a 17-year-old left winger from Flawil, Switzerland, spent the past season with Bern U20 in Switzerland’s Junior A circuit. The 5-foot-9, 190lb. forward represented his country at the 2018 IIHF Under-18 Hockey Championship in April, finishing as a point per game player with six in as many games. With Bern U20, he scored 21 goals and collected 35 assists in 41 games. He also represented Switzerland at the World Junior A U19 Championship, collecting a goal and an assist in four games. He was Niagara’s first round (36th overall) pick in the CHL Import Draft.
Burke is thrilled to be adding this goal-scoring forward to the organization for the upcoming season. “We are thrilled at this signing today. Kyen is the player we had targeted ahead of the Import Draft, and we know we are getting an impact forward who is a high character individual and will fit in nicely with our group. This is a new era in IceDogs hockey and with that comes an improved focus on the Import Draft. We are very excited to officially add Kyen to the team. He has put up extremely impressive numbers at every level he has played, and we are confident that trend will continue here in Niagara.”
For more information visit niagaraicedogs.net.