Wheat Kings Select Two at 2019 CHL Import Draft
Toronto, ON. - The Brandon Wheat Kings selected two players during Thursday's Canadian Hockey League's annual Import Draft.
With their first selection (22nd overall), the Wheat Kings chose 18-year old Finnish forward Marcus Kallionkieli and in round two, they opted for Russian left-winger Vladislav Firstov (82nd overall).
A 6'2" 195 lb. Helsinki product, Kallionkieli was a fifth round selection (139th overall) of the Vegas Golden Knights in last Saturday's National Hockey League Draft.
A member of the USHL's Sioux City Muskateers this past season, Marcus scored 29 goals and 83 points in 58 games and was named to the USHL's All Rookie All Star Team.
During the 2017-18 season, he scored thirteen goals and 22 points in 29 games for SM-sarja in Helsinki.
"Marcus is a really talented player," says Wheat Kings Director of Scouting Darren Ritchie. "He's a big body, skates well and has a heavy shot. He's a drafted NHL player and we're hopeful that we can get him to Brandon this season."
Firstov meanwhile was chosen by the Minnesota Wild in the second round of Saturday's NHL draft in Vancouver and after scoring 26 goals and 58 points for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL last season, the 6'1" 181 lb Russian has committed to play in the NCAA in 2019-20.
"He's an offensively gifted player," says Ritchie. "He plays with good jump to his game and is a hard working power forward."
"Because he's committed to the University of Connecticut, there is some work to be done on getting him here," he added.
The Wheat Kings were able to select two players in Thursday's draft as netminder Jiri Patera, who is expected to return for his second season with the WHL club, is a 20-year old overage player.
CHL clubs are permitted to carry a maximum of two imports.
A sixth round draft choice of the Golden Knights, Patera became the first ever European goalkeeper to be chosen and to play for the Wheat Kings.
In 48 games during the 2018-19 campaign, Patera compiled a 3.31 goals against average and a .906 save percentage for the Wheat Kings, who finished fourth in the Eastern Division with a record of 31-29-4-4.
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 during the 2018-19 campaign.
The top pick belonged to the Western Hockey League's Swift Current Broncos and they selected Finnish defenceman Kasper Puutio.
Rounding out the top three were Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League, who opted for Slovakian forward Matin Chromiak and Quebec's Acadie Bathurst, who chose defenceman Noah Delemont from Switzerland.
Kallionkieli becomes the third Finnish born player to be selected by the Wheat Kings in the CHL Import Draft, since it was established in 1993. He joins Toni Rajala and Sami Sandel, who were chosen in the first rounds of the 2009 and 2004 drafts respectively.
Six Russians have been chosen by the Wheat Kings over the years but only two have played in Brandon. Ivan Provorov was chosen 30th overall in 2014 while Andrei Lupandin was selected with the 28th pick in 1995. While Lupandin was a member of the 1996 WHL Championship Team, Provorov was instrumental in leading the Wheat Kings to the 2016 Title.
Thursday's CHL Import Draft caps off a busy week for the Whet Kings, who unveiled their 2019-20 regular season schedule on Wednesday.
The Wheat Kings will kick off the regular season with a home and home series with the Winnipeg ICE, beginning Friday, September 20th at Westoba Place.
• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...
Western Hockey League Stories from June 27, 2019
- Silvertips Select Center Michal Gut of the Czech Republic in the 2019 CHL Import Draft at 57th Overall - Everett Silvertips
- Americans Take Two in CHL Import Draft - Tri-City Americans
- Rebels Select Puck-Moving Finnish Defenceman in CHL Import Draft - Red Deer Rebels
- Pats Ink Goaltender Matthew Kieper - Regina Pats
- Season Tickets on Sale Now - Medicine Hat Tigers
- WHL Clubs Select 30 Players from Eight Nations in 2019 CHL Import Draft - WHL
- Jarvis Invited to Hockey Canada Selection Camp - Portland Winterhawks
- Winterhawks Pick up Two at Import Draft - Portland Winterhawks
- Blazers Sign Dylan Ernst and Tye Spencer - Kamloops Blazers
- Hitmen Select Two Players in 2019 CHL Import Draft - Calgary Hitmen
- Blades Make Two Selections in 2019 Import Draft - Saskatoon Blades
- Rockets select Novak and Gutik at 2019 CHL Import Draft - Kelowna Rockets
- T-Birds Select Right Wing Tim Stutzle in CHL Import Draft - Seattle Thunderbirds
- Wheat Kings Select Two at 2019 CHL Import Draft - Brandon Wheat Kings
- Hurricanes Select Okuliar in CHL Import Draft - Lethbridge Hurricanes
- Spokane Takes Russian Defenseman Startsev with 103rd Overall Import Pick - Spokane Chiefs
- Winnipeg ICE Select Michal Teply, Nino Kinder Fourth and 64th Overall Respectively in 2019 CHL Import Draft - Winnipeg Ice
- Giants Select 2002-Born Defenceman Samuel Knazko in CHL Import Draft - Vancouver Giants
- Oil Kings Select Seppala in 2019 CHL Import Draft - Edmonton Oil Kings
- Cougars Select Czech Forward in CHL Import Draft - Prince George Cougars
- Raiders Select Kechkin in CHL Import Draft - Prince Albert Raiders
- Tigers Select Brinkman Andersen in CHL Import Draft - Medicine Hat Tigers
- Chiefs Pick Los Angeles Kings Prospect Lukas Parik in Import Draft - Spokane Chiefs
- Swift Current Broncos Select Finnish Defenceman Kasper Puutio with 1st Pick in CHL Draft - Swift Current Broncos
- Dave Chyzowski to Join Delta Hockey Academy - Kamloops Blazers
- Blazers Select Defenseman Inaki Baragano in the CHL Import Draft - Kamloops Blazers
- Royals Select Keanu Derungs in CHL Import Draft - Victoria Royals
- Pats Take Daniil Gushchin Seventh Overall in 2019 CHL Import Draft - Regina Pats
- We Have an Early Bird Grand Prize Winner - Brandon Wheat Kings
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Brandon Wheat Kings Stories
- Don MacGillivray Named Head Coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings
- Lowry Accepts Coaching Position with the Winnipeg Jets
- One Year After Injury, Ritchie Hungry for Upcoming Season
- The Wheat Kings at the Masters
- Brandon Wheat Kings Launch the BWK myITsource NHL21 Tournament