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Meet the OHL’s 2019 CHL Import Draft Picks

 

A total of 28 players were chosen by 19 Ontario Hockey League clubs in the 2019 CHL Import Draft process including 13 forwards, 12 defencemen, three goaltenders, with a total of 12 different countries represented.

Here’s a rundown of the selections:

2. Martin Chromiak (Kingston Frontenacs) RW – Slovakia

Chromiak played for HK Dukla Trencin in the Slovakia U20 league last season finishing second on the team in scoring with 22 goals and 24 assists in 39 games. The 6-foot, 179-pounder then led the team in scoring with nine goals and eight assists in 15 playoff games.

The 16-year-old turns 17 in August and will be a top prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft.  He was the first of two picks made by the Frontenacs and would join an exciting forward corps that includes top OHL Priority Selection pick Shane Wright.

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5. Evgeni Oksentyuk (Flint Firebirds) RW – Belarus

Among his many international highlights, the 5-foot-7, 154-pound forward led Team Belarus with six points in five games as their top forward in April’s World Under-18 Championship. He also recorded 18 points (6G, 12A) in 49 games in Belarus’ top men’s professional league, Belarusian Extraleague, at the age of just 17 with HC Shakhtyor Soligorsk, an affiliate of the KHL’s HC Dynamo Minsk.

“Evgeni is a highly skilled, world class forward that has a strong compete level in all areas of the game,” said Flint Firebirds Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Barclay Branch. “We are excited to be adding Evgeni to our growing nucleus of young talent.”

Although he was not selected in the 2019 NHL Draft, Oksentyuk is currently attending Montreal Canadiens Development Camp.  He was the only selection made by the Firebirds in 2019 and would join fellow Belarusian and recent Florida Panthers pick Vladislav Kolyachonok on the roster.

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8. Marat Khusnutdinov (Erie Otters) C – Russia

The 5-foot-9, 152-pound forward spent the majority of the 2018-19 season with Vityaz Podolsk U17 where he totaled 18 points (8G-10A) in 11 games played.  He also captained Russia to a gold medal at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge last November finishing third in tournament scoring with five points in six games, then represented his country and earned silver in April’s World Under-18 Championship.

“We’re thrilled to add a talent like Marat to our organization,” Otters General Manager Dave Brown announced. “He brings us speed, tenacity, and playmaking ability that will complement our team’s strengths, and is a proven leader. We’re excited to welcome Marat to the Otters family and watch him flourish in Erie.”

The 2020 NHL Draft prospect was the Otters only selection in 2019 and would join Czech forward Petr Cajka who was chosen 12th overall last year and produced 38 points in 63 games.

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11. Arturs Silovs (Barrie Colts) G – Latvia

The 6-foot-3, 168-pound goaltender played for HK Riga in the MHL posting a 2.45 GAA and a .920 SV% in seven games.  He also played for the the Latvian national Under-18 team, playing in five games with a  3.32 GAA and a .918 SV%. The 2001-born Silovs was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the 6th round (156th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft.

This marks the second straight year the Colts have selected a goaltender in the CHL Import Draft.  In 2018 they picked Vegas Golden Knights prospect Maksim Zhukov with the 48th overall choice who went on to play 19 games with the club.

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14. Ruben Rafkin (Windsor Spitfires) D – Finland

The 6-foot, 188-pound defenceman is no stranger to North American ice having played the 2018-19 season with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL where he scored two goals with eight assists and registered 90 penalty minutes in 38 games played.  He also competed for his country at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

“We’ve added some young forwards to our group recently, so we thought it was imperative to get a defenceman in this draft,” said Spitfires General Manager Warren Rychel. “And Ruben is a really good one. He plays with energy and is an excellent hitter. He’ll be a nice addition to our group of 2002’s and 2003’s.”

The 2020 NHL Draft prospect was the only selection made by the Spitfires who still hold a roster spot for Finnish netminder Kari Piiroinen.

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17. Eric Hjorth (Sarnia Sting) D – Sweden

The Sting chose Hjorth with their first selection since the 2017 CHL Import Draft and with him acquire a 6-foot-3, 191-pound frame, who was also chosen in the 2019 NHL Draft going in the fourth round to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The 18-year-old played for his hometown Linkoping HC J18E but saw limited action due to injury.

He was the first of two selections made by the Sting as the club looks to replace departing Swedish forward Hugo Leufvenius who collected 81 points in 66 games during his second of two seasons in Sarnia.

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20. Jan Mysak (Hamilton Bulldogs) C – Czech Republic

A member of HC Litvinov Verva, the 6-foot, 176-pound centre is an offensively gifted forward who began this past season at the U19 level in the HC Litvinov youth system recording 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points across nine games before finishing the season with the club’s senior affiliate.  He’s represented his country at all levels including the most recent World Under-18 and Under-17 tournaments.

The 2020 NHL Draft prospect was the only selection made by the Bulldogs in the 2019 CHL Import Draft and would join fellow Czech forward Jan Jenik, the Arizona Coyotes prospect, who scored 30 points in 27 games last season.

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23. Martin Hugo Has (North Bay Battalion) D – Czech Republic

The right-shot rearguard stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 192-pounds playing primarily with Tappara Tampere of the Finnish Elite League in 2018-19 where he scored nine goals with seven assists for 16 points in 37 games.  He represented his country two straight years at the World Under-18 Championship and at last summer’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Has was also chosen by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft and was the first of two selections made by the Battalion in the 2019 CHL Import Draft replace defencemen Zack Malik and David Maier.

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26. Stepan Machacek (Owen Sound Attack) F – Czech Republic

The 16-year-old forward carries a December, 2002, birthdate and was the second youngest player selected by CHL clubs in 2019.  He scored eight goals and 19 assists last season with Trinec HC Zelenzarny Jr. in the Czech Jr. League.

“He’s got good size. He’s 6’0 tall, 180 pounds, and not afraid to block shots,” said Attack General Manager Dale DeGray. “He’s solid defensively and he can play in all situations. A smart player with ice awareness that’s strong on face-offs and good at applying pressure.”

The 2021 NHL Draft prospect was the first of two selections made by the Attack who received European contributions last year from Manuel Alberg and Maksim Sushko who is expected to graduate into the Philadelphia Flyers system after three years in Owen Sound.

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29. David Maier (Peterborough Petes) D – Austria

The 6-foot, 174-pound, 2000-born defenceman played for the North Bay Battalion during the 2018-19 season recording three goals, 16 assists, and 19 points in 49 games prior to his release.

“David is a smooth skating defenceman who makes a good first pass and has a lot of poise with the puck, which was evident as he adjusted to the OHL last season,” commented General Manager Mike Oke. “He was an invite to play for the Austrian National team and is well-liked by his teammates. He is eager to advance as a hockey player and pursue a professional career.”

Maier was the only selection made by the Petes who expect to return Arizona Coyotes prospect Liam Kirk of Great Britain chosen ninth overall last season before contributing 47 points in 63 games in Peterborough.

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32. Ole Julian Holm (Mississauga Steelheads) D – Norway

Holm skated for the Mangerlund Star in Oslo, Norway, during the 2017-2018 season before moving to North America to play for the Colorado Thunderbirds Under-16 Midget team where he registered 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) and a plus 57 rating over 62 games.

“He’s a big, strong and smart, puck moving defenceman and we’re happy to have drafted him in the first round,” said Steelheads Head Coach and General Manager James Richmond. “We look forward to seeing Ole in the blue and white soon and would like to welcome him and his family to Mississauga.”

The 2020 NHL Draft prospect was the first of two selections made by Mississauga.

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35. Ville Ottavainen (Kitchener Rangers) D – Finland

The 16-year-old registered nine goals and 25 assists for 34 points in 49 regular season games played with Karpat Oulu B.  He then played four games for Finland’s Under-17 national team where he tallied a goal and an assist. Following the 2018-19 season the 6-foot-3, 183-pound defenceman was named to Jr. B SM-sarja First All-Star Team.

The 2020 NHL Draft prospect was the first of two selections made by the Rangers who are expected to graduate captain Rickard Hugg and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Alexey Lipanov.

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38. Andrei Bakanov (Guelph Storm) RW – Russia

The 2002-born forward spent the 2018-19 season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL where he collected five goals and nine points in 51 games. In 2017-18, the Moscow native had an impressive year playing with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, totaling 112 points (57G, 55A) in 77 total games between the program’s HPHL schedule and U16 AAA schedule.

“Our staff is very familiar and have been impressed with Andrei having followed his progress over the last two years; both with Cedar Rapids and in midget with Oakland,” said Storm Head Coach and General Manager George Burnett. “He is certainly on the radar for the NHL Draft next year bringing great size and skill to the game. We will continue to work with his representation and hope to see him in the Guelph in the near future.”

Bakanov also won gold playing alongside Storm defenceman Daniil Chayka in November’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.  He was the first of two picks in 2019 by the Storm who graduate Russian defenceman Dmitri Samorukov and forward Alexey Toropchenko who were both key members of the team’s championship season.

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41. Frederik Nissen Dichow (Sudbury Wolves) G – Denmark

Dichow is 6-foot-5 and 192-pounds and played in Denmark last season, splitting time between Vojens Ik, SønderjyskE and the Denmark Under-18 National team.  He was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

“A modern-day goaltender with a big frame,” says Sudbury Wolves VP Hockey Operations and General Manager, Rob Papineau. “He was outstanding at the U18 world championship and our European scout was very high on selecting him. We have had positive discussions with the Montreal Canadiens and look forward to the opportunity of continuing these discussions as it as a great place for Frederik to play.”

Dichow was the first of two selections made by the Wolves who look to fill the void left by a pair of truly impactful import players in OHL Player of the Year Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and star forward Adam Ruzicka who graduate to the Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames organizations.

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44. Oliver Suni (Oshawa Generals) F – Finland

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound forward played last season for Karpat Oulu where he scored 15 goals and 11 assists for 26 points in 17 games.  He was also a member of the Finnish entry that competed in November’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The 2020 NHL Draft prospect was the only selection made by the Generals and would join defenceman Nico Gross who has already played two seasons with the club and is a prospect of the New York Rangers.

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47. Giancarlo Chanton (Niagara IceDogs) D – Switzerland

The 6-foot, 165-pound defenceman played 17 games for the Langnau U17 SLC young Tigers collecting 13 points before moving up to the U20 program producing nine assists in 16 games.  He’s also represented his country at the Under-17 and Under-18 levels internationally.

The late 2002-born Chanton will be eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft and was the IceDogs lone pick in the 2019 CHL Import Draft.  He would join fellow Swiss born Kyen Sopa who scored 31 points in 55 games last season.

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50. Nick Malik (Soo Greyhounds) G – Czech Republic

The 6-foot-2 and 180-pound netminder split this past season where he played in 26 games for HC Frydek-Mistek posting a 3.05 GAA and .903 SV% and HC Ocelari Trinec U19 where he had six games with a 2.41 GAA and .932 SV%.  He represented the Czech Republic at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge playing in three games to go along with a 2.73 GAA and .912 SV%.

The 2020 NHL Draft prospect was the only selection made by the Greyhounds in 2019 and would join fellow Czech born Jaromir Pytlik on the roster this season.  Malik would also become the Hounds first European goaltender since current NHL star Robin Lehner during the 2009-10 season.

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53. Ilya Solovyov (Saginaw Spirit) D – Belarus

The 18-year-old played the 2018-19 season for the Belarusian Under-20 National Team appearing in 69 games including tournament play where he scored three goals and five assists. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound, left-shot defenceman won a silver medal in both the Division 1 World Championships and the World Junior Division 1 Championships.

“One of the things that attracted us to Ilya was the fact that he played against men in the World Championships this past spring,” said Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill. “We felt like we needed to add a veteran defenceman to our group. We are excited to bring Ilya to Saginaw, and get him started with us in training camp.”

Solovyov was the Spirit’s only selection in the 2019 CHL Import Draft opting to pass in the second round.  Last season the club dressed Czech forward Albert Michnac who was also among the club’s overage players, and Russian goaltender Ivan Prosvetov, an Arizona Coyotes prospect, who is eligible to return between-the-pipes.

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56. Kirill Steklov (London Knights) D – Russia

Playing for Podolsk Vityaz U17, in the MJU17 league Steklov totaled 12 points in 22 games.

“We’re very excited to welcome Kirill to London,” said Knights General Manager, Mark Hunter.  “Welcoming an import player is always an exciting process, both for the team and the player.  As a puck moving, offensively gifted defenceman, we look forward to the abilities that Kirill will bring to our organization for the upcoming season.”

The 2020 NHL Draft prospect was the only selection made by the Knights and could join fellow Russian Matvey Guskov who was recently selected by the Minnesota Wild in the 2019 NHL Draft.

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62. Vitali Pinchuk (Kingston Frontenacs) C – Belarus

Pinchuk scored 10 goals and 19 assists in 40 games while splitting time with Team Belarus’ Under-17 and Under-18 national programs. He also represented his country at the World Under-18 Championship with three points in five games. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound forward is eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.

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71. John Jason Peterka (Barrie Colts) C – Germany

Peterka is a 5 foot 11, 181-pound, forward who plays for the Czech league’s EC Red Bull Akademie U20 where he put up impressive numbers including 94 points (45 goals, 49 assists) in 48 games. In international play for the German Under-18 and Under-20 team, the 2020 NHL Draft prospect combined for 19 points in 19 games.

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77. Marek Berka (Sarnia Sting) LW – Czech Republic

An 18-year-old point producer, Berka scored 29 goals and 21 assists for 50 points in 48 games last season for Litvinov Chemopetrol Jr.  The Czech native stands over 5-foot-10 and weighs in at 159-pounds.

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83. Niki Korpialho (North Bay Battalion) LW – Finland

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound forward played last season for the TPS Turku Under-18 junior Bs of the Finnish Championship Series, with whom he scored 12 goals and added 11 assists for 23 points in 41 games.  The 17-year-old is eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.

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86. Julian Straub (Owen Sound Attack) RW – Germany

A 17-year-old born late in 2001, Straub will be eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.  He scored 32 goals in 35 games last season for EV Füssen U20 and stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 176-pounds.

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92. Lucas Raymond (Mississauga Steelheads) RW – Sweden

Raymond spent the majority of the 2018-19 season playing for Frölunda HC J20 in Sweden’s SuperElit League where he registered 48 points (13 goals, 35 assists) in 37 games. The 17-year old also played 10 games with Frölunda HC alongside Steelheads alumni Jacob Moverare, where he recorded two goals in 10 games.  He is eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.

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95. Axel Bergkvist (Kitchener Rangers) D – Sweden

Bergkvist is a 19-year-old defenceman who recorded 10 points in 36 games for Leksands IF of the Swedish Elite League after combining to score 12 goals with 21 points in 23 games for the U20 affiliate.  He was a seventh round pick by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2019 NHL Draft.

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98. Roman Bychkov (Guelph Storm) D – Russia

Bychkov is a 2001-born defenceman who spent the past two seasons with Yaroslavl Loko (MHL). In 2018-19, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound blueliner scored two goals and 13 assists for 15 points in 40 games.  He was a member of Russia’s entry at the 2019 World Under-18 Championship and was chosen by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

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101. Kalle Loponen (Sudbury Wolves) D – Finland

Loponen is a 5-foot-11, 187-pound right shot defenceman who split playing time last season between the Kärpät U20, Hermes and the Finnish Under-18 National Team.  He was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the seventh round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

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The Ottawa 67’s were the only OHL club not to make a selection in the 2019 CHL Import Draft as they expect to return Russian defenceman Nikita Okhotyuk and Austrian forward Marco Rossi to their lineup in 2019-20.

For full results of the 2019 CHL Import Draft visit chl.ca/draft.

WATCH THE OHL’S 2019 CHL IMPORT DRAFT PICKS IN ACTION:

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