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2019 CHL Import Draft Set for Thursday June 27

June 26, 2019 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Portland Winterhawks News Release

Toronto, Ont. - The Canadian Hockey League today announced details for the 28th annual CHL Import Draft which takes place on Thursday June 27, 2019, beginning at 8:00 a.m. PT.

The Winterhawks hold the 40th and 100th overall picks in the Import Draft. Portland is known for drafting some incredible overseas talent and helping them blossom into high-end NHL prospects. Over the recent years, the Winterhawks drafted Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks), Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks), Rodrigo Abols (Florida Panthers), Oliver Bjorkstrand (Columbus Blue Jackets), Sven Bärtschi (Vancouver Canucks) and Nino Niederreiter (Carolina Hurricanes) to name a few.

Drafted players Bjorkstrand and Blichfeld were later recognized as the WHL Player of the Year during their time in Portland.

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 2018-19 season. The Western Hockey League's Swift Current Broncos hold the number one pick, followed by the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Acadie-Bathurst Titan who 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.

A total of 12 players acquired through the CHL Import Draft were recently selected in the 2019 NHL Draft led by Finnish defenseman Lassi Thomson of the Kelowna Rockets chosen 19th overall by the Ottawa Senators.

Second round NHL Draft picks from the CHL Import Draft included Danish goaltender Mads Sogaard of the Medicine Hat Tigers (37th to Ottawa), Russian defenseman Artemi Kniazev of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (48th to San Jose), Belarusian defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok of the Flint Firebirds (52nd to Florida), Russian defenseman Nikita Okhotyuk of the Ottawa 67's (61st to New Jersey), and Germany born forward Nikita Alexandrov of the Charlottetown Islanders (62nd to St. Louis).

Last season a total of 77 players were selected from 12 different countries led by 16 players from the Czech Republic and consisting of 47 forwards, 23 defensemen, and seven goaltenders.

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