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WHL Clubs Select 32 Players from 12 Countries in 2021 CHL Import Draft

June 30, 2021 - Western Hockey League (WHL) News Release


Calgary, Alta. - The Western Hockey League announced today that 32 players have been selected from 12 different countries by WHL Clubs as the 2021 CHL Import Draft was completed.

The two-round draft took place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL's three leagues. All CHL Clubs are permitted to carry two import players on their roster each season.

The Everett Silvertips held the top selection of all WHL Clubs, using the second-overall pick to claim Finnish right winger Niko Huuhtanen of Tappara Tampere U20. The 6-foot-2, 204-pound forward registered 34 points (20G-14A0 in 37 games at the U20 level during the 2020-21 season. He also represented Finland at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship in Texas, recording five points (2G-3A) in seven appearances. The Finnish forward is ranked 49th overall among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, and is expected to have his name called in the 2021 NHL Draft.

The Swift Current Broncos rounded out the top five of the 2021 CHL Import Draft by selecting left defenceman Rayan Bettahar of Germany in the fifth-overall slot. Bettahar represented his country at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship in Texas, skating in three contests.

The Vancouver Giants represented the final WHL Club to select in the top 10 of the 2021 CHL Import Draft, opting to choose Swedish goaltender Jesper Vikman with the eighth-overall pick. Vikman, a 6-foot-3, 179-pound netminder from Stockholm, is a prospect of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights, having been selected in the fifth round (125th overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft.

The 2021 CHL Import Draft saw WHL Clubs select five players listed in the final NHL Central Scouting International Skater rankings for the 2021 NHL Draft, including Huuhtanen (49th), Edmonton Oil Kings selection Jakub Demek (2003, Slovakia; 129th), Moose Jaw Warriors selection Robert Baco (2003, Slovakia; 66th), Tri-City Americans selection Petr Moravec (2003, Czech Republic; 82nd), and Winnipeg ICE selection Martin Bohm (2003, Czech Republic; 127th).

For the first time since 2008, a Italian was chosen in the CHL Import Draft, as the Seattle Thunderbirds selected right winger Alessandro Segafredo of Asiago, Italy with the 41st overall pick. The last Italian selected in the CHL Import Draft was left winger Marco Insam, who was taken in back-to-back CHL Import Drafts (2007 and 2008) by the Regina Pats and Niagara Ice Dogs, respectively.

Complete results from the 2021 CHL Import Draft are available at CHL.ca/draft.

2021 CHL Import Draft - WHL Selections

First Round

2. Everett Silvertips: Niko Huuhtanen (RW) - Finland - 6'2" / 204 lbs. - June 26, 2003

5. Swift Current Broncos: Rayan Bettahar (LD) - Germany - 6'1" / 194 lbs. - February 22, 2004

8. Vancouver Giants: Jesper Vikman (G) - Sweden - 6'3" / 179 lbs. - March 11, 2002

11. Lethbridge Hurricanes - Yegor Klavdiev (C) - Belarus - 5'11" / 173 lbs. - July 2, 2003

14. Red Deer Rebels - Frantisek Formanek (F) - Czech Republic - 5'7" / 171 lbs. - May 6, 2004

17. Spokane Chiefs - Timofei Kovgorenya (RD) - Belarus - 6'3" / 203 lbs. - February 13, 2003

20. Saskatoon Blades - Yegor Sidorov (RW) - Belarus - 5'10" / 154 lbs. - June 18, 2004

23. Prince George Cougars - Liekit Reichle (RW) - Switzerland - 6'1" / 172 lbs. - January 23, 2003

26. Portland Winterhawks - Marek Alscher (LD) - Czech Republic - 6'2" / 192 lbs. - April 7, 2004

29. Brandon Wheat Kings - Zakhar Polshakov (LW) - Belarus - 5'10" / 170 lbs. - September 18, 2003

32. Regina Pats - Joakim Kemell (RW) - Finland - 5'11" / 161 lbs. - April 27, 2004

35. Calgary Hitmen - Maxim Muranov (F) - Russia - 6'0" / 146 lbs. - June 2, 2004

38. Kamloops Blazers - Roman Makarov (F) - Russia - 6'5" / 214 lbs. - January 29, 2004

41. Seattle Thunderbirds - Alessandro Segafredo (RW) - Italy - 6'1" / 176 lbs. - September 15, 2004

44. Kelowna Rockets - Gabriel Szturc (C) - Czech Republic - 5'11" / 181 lbs. - September 24, 2003

47. Edmonton Oil Kings - Jakub Demek (C) - Slovakia - 6'4" / 196 lbs. - June 6, 2003

50. Moose Jaw Warriors - Robert Baco (RW) - Slovakia - 6'3" / 210 lbs. - February 5, 2003

53. Prince Albert Raiders - Tikhon Chayka (G) - Belarus - 6'0" / 154 lbs. - August 26, 2003

55. Medicine Hat Tigers - Gleb Ivanov (LD) - Russia - 5'10" / 172 lbs. - February 6, 2003

57. Tri-City Americans - Petr Moravec (C) - Czech Republic - 6'0" / 181 lbs. - February 24, 2003

59. Winnipeg ICE - Martin Bohm (LD) - Czech Republic - 5'10" / 176 lbs. - February 8, 2003

60. Victoria Royals - Sebastian Wraneschitz (G) - Austria - 5'10" / 165 lbs. - March 6, 2003

Second Round

65. Winnipeg ICE - Maximilian Streule (LD) - Switzerland - 5'11" / 172 lbs. - October 28, 2003

71. Medicine Hat Tigers - Bogdans Hodass (LD) - Latvia - 6'3" / 194 lbs. - April 13, 2003

86. Seattle Thunderbirds - Leon Okonkwo Prada (RD) - Netherlands - 6'1" / 205 lbs. - July 7, 2003

92. Calgary Hitmen - Anton Astashevich (F) - Belarus - 5'10" / 137 lbs. - March 27, 2004

95. Regina Pats - Alexander Suzdalev (LW) - Sweden - 5'7" / 126 lbs. - March 5, 2004

104. Prince George Cougars - Jozef Viliam Kmec (D) - Slovakia - 6'3" / 198 lbs. - January 2, 2004

107. Saskatoon Blades - Moritz Elias (LW) - Germany - 5'7" / 161 lbs. - March 10, 2004

110. Spokane Chiefs - Yannick Proske (C) - Germany - 6'0" / 174 lbs. - June 10, 2003

115. Lethbridge Hurricanes - Peter Repcik (C) - Slovakia - 5'11" / 163 lbs. - January 9, 2004

119. Swift Current Broncos - Alexei Shanaurin (F) - Russia - 6'0" / 179 lbs. - July 23, 2004

WHL Selections by Country

Belarus - 6

Czech Republic - 5

Russia - 4

Slovakia - 4

Germany - 3

Finland - 2

Sweden - 2

Switzerland - 2

Austria - 1

Italy - 1

Latvia - 1

Netherlands - 1


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Western Hockey League Stories from June 30, 2021


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