Toronto, Ont. – Ontario Hockey League member teams selected a total of 24 players from across 10 different countries in the 2022 CHL Import Draft held on Friday, July 1. The OHL selections consisted of 15 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders.
The Saginaw Spirit led the OHL portion of the proceedings by selecting 2023 NHL Draft prospect Martin Misiak out of Slovakia with the second overall pick, the highest in franchise history. The Erie Otters followed with another 2023 eligible Slovakian player in forward Ondrej Molnar at fifth overall before the Sudbury Wolves made it three straight, taking 2024 NHL Draft eligible defender Jakub Chromiak, the younger brother of Kingston Frontenacs 44-goal scorer Martin Chromiak.
A total of 12 players chosen are eligible for next week’s 2022 NHL Draft, led by Ottawa 67’s first round selection Marco Kasper, following Marco Rossi and Vinzenz Rohrer as another Austrian selection. Kasper finished as the fifth-ranked skater on NHL Central Scouting’s European Rankings. The Kitchener Rangers selected 21st-ranked Czech defender Tomas Hamara with their first round choice and 19th-ranked blueliner Mattias Havelid out of Sweden with their second. The Sarnia Sting scooped up 39th-ranked forward Sandis Vilmanis out of Latvia with the 14th pick of the first round while the OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs picked Slovakian forward Alex Sotek, who came in as the 45th-ranked European skater. Other players ranked by NHL Central Scouting included Saginaw Spirit second round choice Petr Hauser (100th), Windsor Spitfires first selection Tomas Hebek (113th) and Kingston Frontenacs second choice Linus Hemstrom (119th)
An additional 11 players chosen by OHL teams will be eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft while one, Chromiak, isn’t eligible until 2024.
Other selections of note include Peterborough Petes first round choice Tommy Purdeller, who became the first Italian player chosen by an OHL club since the Niagara IceDogs took Marco Insam in the 2008 CHL Import Draft. Swiss product Alessio Belgieri was the first goaltender chosen when the Mississauga Steelheads took him 38th overall. The Kingston Frontenacs took the next netminder, selecting Ivan Zhigalov in the 47th slot. Zhigalov spent the 2021-22 season with the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix, and played in the 2022 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Kitchener.
The Niagara IceDogs (Rodwin Dionicio, Vsevolod Gaidamak) and North Bay Battalion (Matvey Petrov, Alexander Lukin) were the only OHL clubs that did not make a selection. The Kingston Frontenacs, Kitchener Rangers, Mississauga Steelheads, Saginaw Spirit, Sarnia Sting and Sudbury Wolves each made two.
All non-overage import players that were previously drafted in the CHL Import Draft but were deleted by a CHL member team before the 2022 cut-down date were eligible to be re-drafted by another CHL club in the 2022 Import Draft.
Visit CHL.ca/draft for complete results from the 2022 CHL Import Draft.