Import Defender Ondrej Kachyna Unclaimed
The Hamilton Bulldogs have waived import defender Ondrej Kachyna, and he has cleared waivers. Following the World Junior A Championships in Bonnyville, Alberta, after representing his native Czech Republic, Kachyna returned to Europe for the holidays to visit his family. He didn’t to report to the team following the break.
The native of Hodonín, CZE, Kachyna was drafted 21st in the 2015 CHL Import Draft after playing two seasons within the HC Ceske Budejovice system.
Kachyna made strides accustoming his game to the North American systems by the playoff push last spring. He had worked hard and left an impression on enough scouts to jump 72 spots between the 2015 mid-season and final NHL Central Scouting rankings. He had seemed to have won over the confidence of former bench boss George Burnett, but couldn’t find it under John Gruden. The Hamilton Spectator’s Teri Pecoskie interviewed him before the he left for the World Junior A Championships in December (link), and it was obvious he was frustrated with is situation in Hamilton.
“It’s hard. I came here to play hockey and I just warm the bench.” – Ondrej Kachyna in Pecoskie’s Import Kachyna Odd Man Out on Bulldogs D.
The first 200 words of this blog post are incredibly reminiscent of what was written almost a year ago on January 7, Guelph Claims D Christian Mieritz. Two seasons does not make a trend, but each of these moves are not glowing testimonies of success for future import players. To be fair, it was different managers in each situation who elected to waive their players. Both Kachyna and Mieritz were selected by Burnett, and Staios has selected a fantastic hockey player in Marian Studenič.
The fact is that these things happen in hockey, and ultimately it was in the best interest of the player and the organization that they follow separate paths from this point on. Pavel Kortus writes for Českobudějovická in the Czech Republic, and mentioned that Kachyna was practice with his old club HC Motor, although it’s unclear if he is with the youth team or the mens at the moment. There is a chance that we will see him again play in North America in December when the Czech national team plays in the World Juniors in Buffalo.
Staios now has some flexibility with an open import space on the roster. He can either explore trades, or claim any other import player that finds his way onto waivers who seems likely to succeed in Hamilton. He could also simply use the roster spot to pick up another depth player via trade.
Feature Image: Barry Gray / The Hamilton Spectator