CHL Import Draft 2016
Hamilton have held onto the rights to their 2015 import defender, Ondrej Kachyna from the Czech Republic. There was a chance the team would have decided to go in a different direction with Kachyna, to pave the way for some of their defensive prospects that are pushing to get into the system. It will be difficult to find playing time for Reilly Webb and Brandon Scanlin in the OHL early in the season with Kachyna staying on as a roster member. I expect Scanlin will begin the season with the team’s Junior A affiliate. The benefit is, during the long haul of the season, we can probably anticipate injuries. Hopefully not as many injuries as 2015/16, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to depth on the back end.
Reach for the sky
All in all, another fun import draft. No one being a hero and taking Jesse Puljujarvi though was a bummer.
— Lucas Punkari (@lpunkari) June 30, 2015
No one in 2015 decided it would be a wise choice to select Jesse Puljujärvi in 2015. There might be a team today that shoots for the moon and takes him with their second round pick. The only advantage is a team is allowed to hold the rights to three import players if one of them was selected in the first round. Puljujärvi will probably spend the season with Edmonton or Bakersfield, so it would be an exciting, but poor choice for Hamilton (but I’d still celebrate).
Last June, Burnett and Smith elected to go with 1st time draft eligible players, out of the Czech Republic and Denmark. This marks the first time that Staios will be selecting a player from Europe in the draft, so we have no trends to analyze.
There is a decent chance we see Hamilton take a player that was drafted this past weekend. It will give the team’s marketing department a little more to play with when pumping up the roster in the fall to help with ticket sales.
The Bulldogs have the 11th pick, and are well situated to bring in a noteworthy talent. Likely, Staios and Smith have several forwards they’ve considered. They will select a player who could spend 2-3 years in Hamilton, so it will probably someone who can play on the right wing, taking over Michael Cramarossa’s role as an offensive finisher. Cramarossa will be playing in his final year in the OHL provided he commits as an over-ager in the fall. There are some interesting Scandinavian options this season:
Possible imports tomorrow?
C/FIN: A. Räsänen (EDM)
C/LW/FIN: J. Kuokkanen (CAR)
RW/FIN: M.Nurmi (OTT)
LW/SWE: M. Davidsson (2017)
— Reckless Restraint (@RRestraint) June 28, 2016
Matt Holmes, Luke Vermeer and I will be pumping out a draft-centric podcast this afternoon, discussing the Entry Draft, as well as today’s import selection.
Feature Image: Barry Gray / The Hamilton Spectator