Winterhawks Pick up Two at Import Draft
The Portland Winterhawks made two selections in this year's CHL Import Draft to help round out their protected 2019-20 roster heading into training camp. With the picks, the Winterhawks drafted forward Simon Knak and defenseman Jonas Brøndberg.
With the 40th overall pick in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, the Winterhawks selected Swiss native Simon Knak from Kloten EHC's junior team. The 2002-born right winger is already being recognized as a top-end prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft as he put up 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points in 37 games as a 17 year old playing in the under-20 league. In the playoffs, Knak scored four goals and four assists in six games.
Knak (6-0, 185-pounds) captained the Swiss under-18 team and he competed in the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup as an underage forward, scoring twice in four tournament games. He was named a Top 3 Player for Switzerland through international play.
The Winterhawks historically have had success with players from Switzerland thanks to forwards like Sven Bärtschi (Bern, SUI) and Nino Niederreiter (Chur, SUI).
With the second selection of the 2019 CHL Import Draft, the Winterhawks went to Denmark to draft 2001-born defenseman Jonas Brøndberg.
Brøndberg (6-4, 183-pounds) captained the Danish under-18 team and captured a bronze medal this past season at the Division 1 Group A World Junior Championships. The defenseman led his team with three assists in five tournament games.
Playing for the Växjö Lakers under-18 and under-20 teams this past season, Brøndberg tallied three goals and seven assists in 49 games. He spent the majority of the year playing up in the older age bracket. The Växjö Lakers organization recently helped develop Calder Trophy winner Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks) through their professional team.
The Winterhawks have also done an exceptional job at scouting Danes over the years, including WHL Players of the Year Joachim Blichfeld and Oliver Bjorkstrand.
In conjunction with these two picks, the Winterhawks have released forward Michal Kvasnica.
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