Wednesday, July 7, 2021

2021 CHL Import Draft Review

On Wednesday, June 30, the Canadian Hockey League held its annual Import Draft. It is here, CHL teams get the opportunity to add import talent to their roster. There are two rounds of the draft, and a team can pass on their pick at any time.

Just to remind you, CHL clubs are permitted to carry only two import players on their team or protected list every year. However, if a CHL team has an Import who was an NHL first round pick they receive the opportunity to add another player to their protected list to cover should that first round import make the pro level. There are other scenarios which can allow you to carry the rights of three (such as having an OA Import, having an Import on their protected list who didn't show the year prior, having a player signed to an NHL contract on your list, etc). It is a pretty complicated process.
Adding to the complications is the fact that we did not have an OHL season this past year. How likely will some of these Imports be to come over right away, given the state of hockey in Ontario currently? Players like Artyom Grushnikov, Daniil Sobolev, Paval Cajan, and Pavel Mintyukov really got burned this year because of it. That said, the OHL is a premier development league and it is going to attract premier talent. Here is hoping that we get commitments.
Of course, the number of OHL teams selecting this year, especially in round two, was cut substantially because they are expecting to have the players from last year's draft that committed, still play next season. That includes the likes of Grushnikov, Mintyukov, Petrov, Sobolev, etc. And OHL teams still kept others like Gushchin and Peterka on their protected lists too. For more information on last year's crop, check out last year's review (found here). Given that many teams won't know what to expect from so many of their players, predicting how imports succeed next year seems very difficult. 

While we do not have data on last year's draft, let's check out 2017, 2018, and 2019.

In 2017 
18 of 25 players selected came to the OHL (72%)
16 of 25 players selected lasted the entire OHL season with their clubs (64%)
10 of 25 (open for debate) had a significant impact on their OHL teams (40%) 

In 2018
24 of 27 players selected came to the OHL (88%)
20 of 27 players selected lasted the entire OHL season with their clubs (74%)
10 of 27 (open for debate) had a significant impact on their OHL teams (37%) 

In 2019
22 of 28 players selected came to the OHL (79%)
20 of 28 players selected lasted the entire OHL season with their clubs (71%)
10 of 28 (open for debate) had a significant impact on their OHL teams (36%)
If we combine the two Import Draft classes, it probably means that we should be looking at least 15-20 or so additional impact players being added to the league next year (and that may even be on the conservative side).  

Of course this article wouldn't have been possible without the help of these experts:
Viktor Fomich (@RUSProspects)
Chapin Landvogt (@Csomichapin)
Marco Bombino (@marco_bombino)
Czech Prospects (@CZprospects)
Matej Deraj (@MatoDeraj)
Will Scouch (@Scouching
Derek O'Brien (@Derek_J_OBrien)
Mark Rackham (@MarkUkLeaf)
Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports)
McKeen's Hockey (@mckeenshockey)
Here are the reports:
3. Barrie Colts - Artur Cholach - Defense
Interestingly enough, we at McKeen's just added Cholach to our HM list for our 2021 NHL Draft Guide recently after our head of US scouting, Ryan Wagman, was told some very positive things about him. He played this year in the Ukraine, but spent the year prior in the U.S. playing with the New Jersey Titans program. He acquitted himself well in the league as a U17 player in a U18 league, but he does remain a bit of a mystery. 
Scouting Report:
"In watching some games of Cholach on InStat, he is certainly an interesting project. Two years ago with the New Jersey Titans, he seemed to play both center and defense. This year in the Ukraine league and internationally for the Ukraine, he has played strictly on the back-end. He seems to have a good stick defensively and does well to neutralize transitional attacks, angling forwards to the corner and separating them from the puck. His stride is inconsistent and it does lend itself to needing improvement. At times he seems to get good extension on his strides to build up linear speed. Other times, his strides are short and choppy and he seems to have heavy boots. Additionally, his lateral and backwards mobility can also appear awkward, with a tendency to lose his balance. His play with the puck definitely seems raw too. While a small sample size, turnovers in the face of the forecheck appear to have been a bit of an issue and his play inside the offensive blueline appears basic and simplistic. For what it's worth, we at McKeen's were given a tip that he is on the NHL draft radar and there are some out there who believe he has tools to work with. This is why we added him as an HM to our draft list." - Brock Otten

6. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds - Kirill Kudryavtsev - Defense
One of, if not the top Russian '04 defender, Kudryavtsev (going to take time to memorize that one), is someone who is very highly regarded in scouting circles. He was a key part of the Russian YOG team that won gold and already saw action in the MHL this year. He has a chance to come in and give the Hounds some serious defensive depth for next season, maybe even giving them flexibility to move a veteran defender for a veteran goaltender.  
Scouting Report:
"Kirill Kudryavtsev caught my eye later on in the year when he managed to get a few games here and there with Loko Yaroslavl’s MHL team. While many games were against weaker competition, his talent level and aggressive approach to the game from the defensive position is apparent, and I’m extremely curious to see where he takes his game in the next year. The main areas that are of interest to me is the combination of smarts both with and without the puck, and his aggressive approach to the game with the puck on his stick. Generating speed and lateral agility are still works in progress, but the skill level is there. That skill can be applied both with the puck challenging opponents one on one in open ice, as well as in close quarters along the boards to free up pucks and create rushes moving offensively. He has a strong grasp of the game as it goes on around him on the ice, awareness of passing options, and with all his strengths, he was a tremendous goal impact driver for Loko when he managed to get into games at both ends of the ice. While not the biggest player, with improvements to his mobility to suit his natural profile more, his aggressive approach to defending, strong offensive and defensive skill with his stick, and ability to step up the ice and run a breakout could make for a real riser on 2022 draft boards. If his fundamentals can improve on his feet, it should build on the mental map of the ice Kudryavtsev has and the aggressive mindset he brings to the game at both ends. Kudryavtsev is likely one of the first names that I’ll be tracking for next year’s draft."- Will Scouch

9. Kitchener Rangers - Filip Mesar - Forward
A huge swing for the fences by the Rangers as they take Slovak forward Filip Mesar, a potential first round selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. He already played against men this year in Slovakia and even made the Slovak team at the World Junior Championships as a 16 year old (as part of a tremendous young group of '04's in Slovakia). While he does have a contract in the Slovak men's league for next season, if the Rangers can get him to commit, he could be one of the team's top forwards next year.
Scouting Report:
"Mešár has already a one full season in Slovak top men´s league under his belt and didn´t look out of place at all – his game was only getting better and better. He scored 14 points in 36 regular season games and added 4 more in 15 play-offs matches. The 17-year-old is a former center, who has been turned into a winger in pro hockey, but his playmaking ability remained the same. He is a skilled handler, very confident with the puck and creates a lot of plays and goals on his own. His skating is outstanding, he´s very quick and his shot is dangerous too. The biggest weakness of Mešár´s game comes from his low physique (he´s 5-10”, only weighs 165 lbs). Overall, he´s a highly skilled offensive forward who can develop into a major threat to any defence. He stated he´d start the season with HK Poprad in Slovak Extraliga, but the Rangers GM will do his best to convince him." - Matej Deraj

12. London Knights - Ruslan Gazizov - Forward
There was a lot of talk about the London Knights having their eyes on a really big fish for this draft, but in the end they take Gazizov, who may end up being great, but was certainly not one of the bigger names available. The 5'10 forward was also a part of the YOG squad that won gold, providing clutch secondary scoring for the Russians. He too got in some MHL action this year and looks to be a potential top 9 forward for London next year. 
Scouting Report: 
"Using InStat, I was able to watch some of Gazizov's games. The two things that really stand out are his skating ability and his shot. While his quickness is impressive, it's his confidence on his edges and his explosiveness east/west that really catches your eye. There is a real dynamic quality to his stride, with the ability to quickly stop, start, and change direction in an instant, while maintaining control of the puck. Gazizov can also clearly shoot the puck. Nice release on his wrist shot and he does well to keep his feet moving in the offensive end to earn those scoring chances in the slot. Physically and defensively, he will go trough some growing pains. But in watching just a little bit of Gazizov, it is clear he could be an impact offensive player for London." - Brock Otten

15. Saginaw Spirit - Matyas Sapovaliv - Forward
Massive center (6'4) who hails from the Czech Republic. He was one of three '04 forwards on the Czech U18 team this year as an underager, certainly pointing to him being highly regarded. Sapovaliv also played in the Czech second men's league this year and had signed an extension with Rytiri Kladno, who had earned a promotion to the top level for next season.  
Scouting Report:
“Matyáš Šapovaliv is a tall forward with playmaking skills. He is good in reading the game an has an ability to find teammates with accurate passes. Although he doesn’t have a great shot, he proved that he can score goals, but he’d rather pass than shoot on most plays. In his limited time on ice in his first professional season, he looked solid, playing on a team with Jagr or Plekanec.” - Czech Prospects

18. Niagara IceDogs - Rodwin Dionicio - Defense
One Swiss defender replaces another (Giancarlo Chanton). With Chanton signing a pro deal in Switzerland, the IceDogs selected a 6'2, 2004 born defender in Dionicio. He too played at the U18's this year as an underager, getting in two games for Switzerland. He could certainly provide depth to an improving Niagara defense.
Scouting Report: 
"I watched a bunch of Dionicio's shifts on InStat. Some from the recent U18's, some from back home in Switzerland. I also spoke to Chapin Landvogt about him. Chapin says that he is a huge physical specimen with the reputation for having a big point shot. Also says that he is highly regarded and comes from the same program as Nico Hischier. In watching him, he definitely likes to shoot the puck and does have a big point shot. He is not shy about pinching either, to keep pucks in or to get himself a scoring chance. Chapin is also correct about him being a physical specimen. He really likes to play the body and is aggressive in stepping up on attackers early at the blueline to deny entry. He caught Chase Stillman with his head down at the U18's with a big hit. I do have some concerns about his four way mobility and how it will translate to the OHL level. Moving forward, he does seem to move fine and can build up some linear speed. However, his lateral and backwards strides are very rigid, making him susceptible to transitional attacks. His transitional mobility also seems like a weakness, which makes him susceptible to chip and chase or dump and chase attacks. The IceDogs would be smart to pair him with a mobile defender next year like Isaac Enright or Alec Leonard." - Brock Otten

24. Sarnia Sting - Andrei Malyavin - Defense
Perhaps not as highly regarded as the Soo's Kudryavtsev, but Malyavin was also on the YOG Russian squad and did play in the MHL this season. The 5'10 defender adds depth to Sarnia's biggest weakness the last time the OHL hit the ice and can hopefully help to solidify the position.
Scouting Report:
"Again, I watched some of his MHL games on InStat. What immediately jumps out at you about his game is how electric and dynamic he is as a skater. His stride is effortless and both his quickness moving forward, and his lateral agility/edgework are major assets. This aids in his ability to evade the forecheck and start the breakout. That lateral quickness also makes him an asset inside the offensive blueline where he can make defenders miss to create lanes to exploit. He didn't get any powerplay time in the MHL, but it is easy to see him becoming comfortable in that role. While the offensive potential looks high, he also looks like he could be a serviceable player in his own end. His transitional defense is strong because of his mobility and he seems like a willing physical combatant, although not the type to play consistently aggressive. After watching a fair amount of him, I must say that I am excited to see what he can bring to the OHL. The potential is there for him to be an impact player." - Brock Otten

27. Ottawa 67's - Vinzenz Rohrer - Forward
An Austrian forward playing out of Switzerland, Rohrer split the year between the Swiss U20 league and the U17 league. One has to wonder if there is a connection to former 67 Marco Rossi, given that they played for the same program in Switzerland (ZSC Lions and their feeders).  
Scouting Report: 
"In watching some of his games on InStat (international exhibition matches and Swiss league), it appears to me that Rohrer is a center and not a winger as listed by Elite Prospects. Now, does that mean that he couldn't slide to the wing? Obviously not, but he played center the vast majority of this year. Watching him, it is easy to see why the 67's would be interested in him. He looks like a real complete player who could play in a variety of different roles for the team. His speed is a noticeable asset and he uses that to be aggressive on the forecheck and to push the pace transitionally. The majority of his offensive production (at least available on InStat) was generated with pace. He also looks like a competitive player who is willing to play the body and is actively engaged in all three zones. Combining his speed and physical tenacity, it is easy to see why he was consistently used on the PK previously. Given that the lower level U18's did not occur this year, he would not have had a chance to play with Austria there to see if they could earn a promotion to the top group. At the very least, he looks like he could be a very serviceable bottom six player and penalty killer for the 67's. At best, the offensive skill set translates well and he can use his speed to be a dynamic playmaker." - Brock Otten

30. North Bay Battalion - Aleksander Lukin -Defense
A good sized (6'1, 200lbs), '04 defender, Lukin was nearly an MHL regular this year as a 16 year old, which is no easy feat. Lukin will try to provide some depth to the Battalion's defense, which should already be improved from the previous season thanks to some shrewd drafting. 
Scouting Report:
"In watching some of his MHL games on InStat, Lukin appears to be a potential two-way defender. I wouldn't classify any of his qualities as above average, but his skill set has a well rounded profile. His four way mobility is good enough to make him a competent defensive player, both effective in transition and in coverage. He can play a physical game down low to help separate players from the puck to win those 50/50 battles. He appears to have enough skill to hold the blueline and keep pucks in effectively. The one area that did stand out negatively was his decision making and puck skill in the defensive end. A lot of defensive zone turnovers as a result of skating himself into a corner, from trying to force passes up the middle, or from simply hesitating too much. The MHL can be a tough league for young defenders to excel in, but it looks like Lukin could at least be a third pairing guy for the Battalion next season." - Brock Otten

33. Erie Otters - Jiri Tichacek - Defense
An elite skating two-way defender, Tichacek is a potential Top 100 selection for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft in July and is a favourite of many on our scouting staff at McKeen's. He is a potential top flight powerplay QB for the Otters, potentially giving them a great one/two punch with Spencer Sova also starting back there next season.  
Scouting Report: 
"You may not find a better skating defender outside of the first round than Tichacek. Not only is he explosive moving forward, but his confidence on his edges and his overall agility gives him terrific four way mobility. This allows him to easily evade forecheckers in order to start the breakout with a clean exit pass. It also allows him to walk the offensive blueline laterally, opening up scoring lanes and helping to breakdown opposing coverage. His two points in Czech2 and his zero points at the U18’s would perhaps be alarming, but this is a defender who does possess offensive potential. What makes Tichacek so interesting is that for a smaller defender, he actually defended quite well playing against men this year. A lack of strength does put him at a disadvantage in traffic and that will need to be rectified. However, he shows great instincts and awareness when defending open ice and transitional attacks, using a great stick and his mobility to keep tight gaps. He is also aggressive in his reads and consistently breaks up plays in the neutral zone before they have the opportunity of developing. The question is does Tichacek have the hands, creativity, and vision to be a high end contributor offensively? Can he be a powerplay quarterback? NHL teams may be hesitant to use a high draft selection on a 5’9 defender who may not have shown his full potential offensively."  - McKeen's Draft Guide 2021
"Owing to his size (5’8” or 5’9”, depending on the source), there will always be a certain level of skepticism about Jiří Ticháček’s ability to be an NHL defenceman, and that is exactly what makes him a draft sleeper. He otherwise has all the attributes – in terms of skills and work ethic – to be at worst a middle-round pick at this year’s draft. His skating, puckhandling, passing and ability to read the play are elite-level. Playing in a men’s league, he doesn’t contribute offensively a lot now but that could change as he becomes more comfortable and he’s surprisingly strong defensively, using his anticipation, speed, agility and stick-checking skills to defend against larger opponents. Of course, he’s never going to be a big defenceman but of course he will become stronger." - Derek O'Brien, McKeen's
39. Owen Sound Attack - Servac Petrovsky - Forward
The Attack select Petrovsky, a 5'11 forward who was the leading scorer for the Slovak U18 team this year that plays in the Slovak second men's league. The 2004 born forward had previously played in the Czech Republic but returned home this season.  
Scouting Report:
"Natural scoring instinct is usually a rare thing when it comes to Slovak prospects, but Servác Petrovský is an exception. He´s a true sniper, who is really good at picking spots and sends a lot of pucks to the opposing net. The shoot-first center is truly an interesting player. Sometimes, he´s able to create many opportunities during a game. The next time, he might be unnoticeable for almost the whole match, but then he comes out of nowhere and somehow scores two goals in the third period. Petrovský is not afraid of physical play too, despite his limited size (5-11”, 168 lbs). He had been developing his game in Czech youth leagues since the age of 12, but returned to Slovakia throughout the last season. As an underager, he was the leading scorer of the Slovak U18 National Team, playing in the second tier men´s division. He´ll most likely report to Owen Sound right away." - Matej Deraj

42. Flint Firebirds - Simon Slavicek - Forward
Quite possibly the top '04 forward in the Czech Republic, Slavicek played for the Czechs at the U18's this year as an underager and performed well in the U20 league as a 16/17 year old. The hope for Flint has to be that Slavicek can come in and be a top 9 forward for the team. He did recently just sign a men's league contract, which makes his arrival unlikely.
Scouting Report:
“Šimon Slavíček is a dynamic playmaker with extremely soft hands who could play both center and the wing. He has a high hockey IQ and although he likes to play with the puck he’s also responsible off the puck. You can use him on the powerplay and the penalty kill. As an underager he played a shut down role for the Czech Republic at the U18 Worlds. He is a solid skater and shooter, he just needs to get stronger.” - Czech Prospects
45. Peterborough Petes - Adrian Klein - Defense
A big German defender (6'3, 205lbs), Klein spent the majority of the year in the DEL already as a 17 year old. With a later September birthday, he is not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2022, so he is likely hoping to come over and increase his odds of being selected.  
Scouting Report:
Defenseman Adrian Klein is a very big boy and has been making a little bit of noise in the German ice hockey scene the past couple of years after playing the entire 19-20 season in Germany’s third pro circuit as a 16-year-old. He was so good there that he was quickly given a DEL contract and managed to make his way into 31 games this season as a 17-year-old, even if he only collected one point along the way. He also saw time in Germany’s DEL2 and Oberliga at various junctures this year before being an assistant captain for the national team at the U18. As promising as this all is, he still has a large learning curve and has spent a lot of time playing a very careful game, either just to survive or in order to make sure he does exactly what his coaches demand of him. There is a lack in quick or creative decision making in his game and he tries to keep things safe and sound. His strengths actually lie more in his play without the puck. Sound positioning, an active stick, and a very strong readiness to use his body are what have him playing pro hockey thus far. If he’s got more offensively, it’ll be up to the right coach to tickle it out of him.” - Chapin Landvogt
48. Kingston Frontenacs - Leevi Merilainen - Goaltender
This selection by the Fronts has the chance to be a huge home run for the team, giving them the kind of stability in net that they will need to push for a Championship in Shane Wright's inevitable final OHL season. Merilainen is a third round selection of the Ottawa Senators and has already signed his ELC after a terrific season in the Finnish U20 league. Surprisingly, he was the only goaltender selected by an OHL team this draft. 
Scouting Report:
“Meriläinen is a tall goalie who had a very impressive season with Kärpät U20 in Finland. His numbers were eye-popping and when he was playing at his best, shooters had a tough time to find the back of the net. He is able to read and anticipate plays, which in my viewings has been an asset. He controls his rebounds well, especially on low shots. He does not shy away from stopping pucks on dump-ins and he can both stickhandle and pass efficiently. Meriläinen played on a very strong team this past season and most often did not face a ton of shots. He did play lots of games, but I think it would be interesting to see how he manages behind a less strong defense. I think playing in the OHL would include many benefits for his development and he would gain important experience of playing in North America. Overall, his development curve is heading straight up and the future looks bright for him.” - Marco Bombino
51. Windsor Spitfires - Avval Baisov -Winger
Baisov, a 6'0 forward, bounced around between a few teams in Russia this season. He did spend some time in the MHL, scoring his first goal in the league. This one is a bit of a mystery, but perhaps the '04 forward can come in and be a surprise. 
Scouting Report:
"The first thing that is important to note is that Baisov barely played in the MHL last year. He averaged just over 8 minutes per game. I think that does help to bring perspective to his lower offensive totals in that league. However, even with limited ice time, he did manage to have some impactful moments and I do believe that he possesses good potential at the OHL level. He is clearly a competitive forward who loves to drive the net and who does well to keep plays alive along the wall. He is not someone who I would classify as a power forward, but he can play a physical game and has some pest like qualities. Offensively, his skill set looks well rounded. He skates well. He seems to have a good feel for the puck in the offensive zone, demonstrating both a soft passing touch and strong puck protection skills. The area that does seem to need improvement is his finishing ability. He was earning some chances in the MHL next year, but his release will need to be quicker to score in the OHL. Even if the scoring ability does not take a step forward, he appears to do enough other things well to at least be a valuable bottom six forward for Windsor next season." - Brock Otten

54. Guelph Storm - Valentin Zhugin - Forward
A really interesting selection by the Storm here. Zhugin, a 5'9 forward, was not only an MHL regular as a 16 year old this season (with a December 13, 2004 birthday), but he was the fourth highest scoring '04 in the league with 25 points. This is not an easy league for young players to score in, so there is a chance he could come over and be an impact top six forward for a somewhat rebuilding team. 
Scouting Report:
"Having watched of Zhugin's MHL games on InStat, I must say that I am excited to see him play in the OHL. This looks like a real talented kid who can be an impact player for the Storm. He is not big; clearly physically immature. He does get knocked off the puck fairly easily sometimes. But he just keeps battling; keeps fighting. He is a tenacious player who seems to love fighting through traffic and involving himself physically, even if he is not winning all of those battles. He also happens to be highly skilled and creative in the offensive, with dynamic skating ability and elite transitional skills. Being one of the youngest players in the MHL last year, he was also one of the most effective. If he continues to grow and get stronger, I think his upside looks quite high. Viktor Fomich, who works with me at McKeen's, also had good things to say about him. Hopefully he is able to really improve his conditioning this offseason so that he is ready to make an impact in the OHL next season." - Brock Otten

56. Oshawa Generals - Kevin Niedenz - Forward
Niedenz, a 6'1 winger, is an '03 born played eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft. He is not expected to be taken, but he did play for Germany at this year's U18's where he registered an assist. This looks like a depth pick up for Oshawa to help fill out their bottom six forward spots. 
Scouting Report:
Kevin Niedenz is a very slightly built, 6 foot plus forward who can be a real water bug and has shown a good bit of creativity and offensive confidence in his play at Germany’s junior levels. After 10 in six games last fall, Germany’s top junior circuit shut down for the year and Niedenz got into a handful of DEL and DEL2 games at the pro level, seeing very little ice time and gaining no points in the process. His next play was at the U18, where he had some really nice shifts, but showed rust from a season without much meaningful play. The good news is that Niedenz has scored everywhere he’s gone throughout his junior days and I would think that he’s open to the opportunity to spend a season in the OHL seeing as how there are a lot of bodies between him and a spot on Cologne’s DEL team next season.” - Chapin Landvogt
58. Sudbury Wolves - Tomas Trunda - Forward
A tiny Czech forward (5'7), Trunda actually spent this year in North America, playing with Mount St. Charles Academy's U16 team. If you recall, their U15 team was stacked with talent this year (getting a few players selected in the OHL Priority selection and to the NTDP U17 team). Trunda was a standout player for them this year, and played at the U16 Nationals with the Rhode Island team (where he had a goal and an assist). Of course, the Wolves would have scouted the event heavily considering Quentin Musty's NJ Avalanche team captured the title. 
Scouting Report:
“Tomáš Trunda spent last season in the USA so I didn’t see him play but his numbers indicate that he has adapted well. From what i saw in previous seasons: As a small guy he is quick on his skates and has a lot of skills. He uses his speed to gain an advantage, he has good vision and hockey IQ. Everywhere he plays, he has always been productive.” - Czech Prospects
63. Sudbury Wolves - Kasper Kulonummi - Defense
Possibly Finland's top '04 defender, the Wolves shoot for the moon here in trying to get the intelligent two-way defender to commit. He is a potential first round selection in the 2022 NHL Draft and played for Finland at this year's U18's as an underager.  He would likely be an impact top four defender should they get a commitment from him.
Scouting Report:
“Kulonummi has been one of the most promising Finnish prospects in his age group over the last few years. He has been playing against older players and it is easy to see why. He has shown maturity, he plays confidently and has strong foundational skills to build on. He reads and processes the game very well. He has a high-panic threshold and he seldom makes a hasty decision. He chooses the best options available to him while pressured and he stays calm. He's a strong, accurate passer and moves the puck well out of the defensive zone. He has good mobility and his edges are good. What's more, he has a good, hard shot for his age. I think he has versatility and I could see his game translate well to the OHL and pro level. He's not the flashiest defenseman, but he is confident in his decisions and has good hockey sense. Overall, I think Kulonummi is a very solid prospect, with the potential to be a fairly high pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, especially if he starts to generate offense on a more consistent basis.” - Marco Bombino
66. Oshawa Generals - Nikita Parfianiuk - Defense
One of the youngest players eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft, Parfianiuk is a 6'3 Belarussian defender who played at this year's U18's. He also played in the Belarussian men's league, although did not register a point. 
Scouting Report:
"A huge defenseman (6-3”, 194 lbs), Parfianiuk spent half of the season playing in the highest Belarussian league. His numbers aren´t impressive (0 points in 21 regular season matches, 2 assists in 9 play-offs games), he was doing better in the lower Vysshaya league. He was also part of the Belarussian U18 National Team at the recent U18-WJC. As his size might suggest, Parfianiuk is a stay-at-home defenseman, who is effective at stopping opponents either using his body or his stick. He plays hard and likes to throw a big hit. The biggest concern is, not surprisingly, his skating – Parfianiuk is far from a fast player and he seems clumsy on the skates from time to time. He should learn to play a smarter game too. However, the 17-year-old Belarussian could be a fine PK option and help the Generals´ defence." - Matej Deraj

69. Guelph Storm - Leo Hafenrichter - Defense
The former captain of the German U16 team, Hafenrichter did not play a ton this season, bouncing between a bunch of different teams in the Kolner program. An '04 defender, Hafenrichter could be a bit of a mystery, but perhaps a solid depth option for the Storm.
Scouting Report:
Defenseman Leo Hafenrichter was a teammate of Kevin Niedenz in the Cologne organization and was severely missed on this year’s U18 team in Texas, as he’d likely have been one of the starting defensemen, even as an underager. At the moment, he’s considered the top German defenseman for the 2022 NHL Draft and many are very excited to see him play a whole season - somewhere, anywhere. He got into all of 11 games this past season, with two having been in the DEL and three in the DEL2. A very mobile player of solid, but average, size, Leo had a very exciting 19-20 season and Sharks coach Uwe Krupp felt he was ready for a preview in the DEL this year despite being just 16. He’ll be spending this week at a Team Germany U18 camp and is an absolute candidate for both the U20 and U18 teams this upcoming season. One has to think it’d be of advantage to Team Germany if he were to be very comfortable with North American ice before these tournaments.” - Chapin Landvogt
90. Erie Otters - Juraj Slafkovsky - Forward
The Erie Otters hold nothing back by making this selection of Slafkovsky, a potential top 5 selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. A 6'4, 220lbs beast, Slafkovsky played for the Slovak men's team at the World Championships this year. That tells you how highly regarded he is. The sticking point is that he recently signed with TPS in Liiga for next season, making him a real long shot to cross the pond. Never know until you try. 
Scouting Report: 
"Still gigantic for his age (6-4”, 218 lbs), Juraj Slafkovský has been turning heads for a few years for now. Having been compared to greats such as Jaromír Jágr and Marián Hossa, Slafkovský is a complete offensive forward, able to play both winger and center, with surprisingly soft hands for his size. He is truly dangerous for any defence, constantly puts pressure on the opposition and fights for every puck while using his monstrous frame as an advantage. He´s a skilled playmaker with solid two-way play, but his skating and shooting accuracy both still need some work. The youngest Slovak Men´s National Team player in history left a great impression at U20-WJC and Men´s WC, respectively, but went scoreless at both tournaments. Nevertheless, he would be a fantastic addition to the Otters, but he´s very unlikely to report. Slafkovský has been put on the TPS Turku 2021-22 roster and said he wanted to fight for a Top-9 spot in one of the best European pro leagues." - Matej Deraj
99. Sarnia Sting - Marcus Limpar Lantz - Forward
A very interesting selection by Sarnia. Limpar Lantz, a player eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft, missed the entire season due to both injury and the covid shutdown of the Swedish Junior leagues. I have been told that he would have played at the U18's had he been healthy. Previously, he was fairly highly regarded, having played on the Swedish U17 team a few years ago, putting up similar numbers to potential NHL first round selections Isak Rosen and Simon Robertsson. In a perfect world, Sarnia can bring all three of Geci, Malyavin, and Limpar Lantz to camp and let them battle it out for two spots. 
Scouting Report: 
"I went back and watched Limpar Lantz's shifts at the U17's and came away impressed. If he had played this year, I believe that we would be talking about him as a potential NHL draft selection. He looks like a very well rounded two-way center. The skating is a positive. His positioning, anticipation, and awareness in all three zones is strong. He did extremely well on his faceoffs at the event. Offensively, his ability to protect the puck is strong, especially on net drives and along the wall. He is certainly not the most creative player, but the hands are good enough to take advantage of his high IQ. At the U17's, he played a lot with Liam Dower Nilsson (a potential top 100 selection at this year's NHL Draft) as part of Sweden's "checking line." I think that if he chooses the OHL route, it would be a toss up as to whether he or Alex Geci would be the more effective player. I think it's an avenue worth exploring for Sarnia." - Brock Otten

105. Niagara IceDogs - Alex Graham - Forward
There was certainly some talk that Graham would go last year in the Import Draft, but that did not come to fruition. This year, different story, as the IceDogs take the talented British forward. The 6'2 winger had a bit of a disappointing draft year in Britain, but there is hope that he could come over and have a similar impact to Liam Kirk with the Petes. 
Scouting Report:
"Alex Graham is a prototypical power-forward- big, strong, and loves to score goals. His shot is the best part of his game; he gets a ton of power behind it, with a snappy release and consistent accuracy. He shoots really well off the catch and is able to score from anywhere in the offensive zone. Graham’s offensive instincts are excellent. He is a strong passer, and he can find the quiet areas of the ice to put himself in the best position to score or to receive a pass and drive into the zone for a chance on net. He protects the puck well with his big frame and isn’t afraid to throw a hit- though he’d benefit from upping the physicality in his game. The main question mark for Graham at the OHL level is speed- his game as a whole will need to speed up, from his skating to his decision-making to how he executes plays. If he adapts well, however, he’ll be an exciting player to watch." - Caitlin Berry
“There is no doubting Alex Graham’s offensive skill set and potential which I believe will flourish in the OHL.It’ll be on the other side of the puck and his defensive game that will be most under scrutiny and has to improve. That’s no different in some ways to his predecessor but Kirk was a better two-way player at the same age. So what about his offensive game? What should Niagara fans be excited for and looking forward to? He likes to shoot the puck and can score in several ways. That’s not to say he isn’t an adept playmaker but scoring is his forte in my opinion. Graham is listed as playing centre on some sites. In truth, he’s a LW who might benefit as Kirk did by spending some time playing on his off-wing. Either by necessity or as a way to develop and round out his game.” - Mark Rackham (you can find more here, including clips)
114. Kitchener Rangers - Calle Odelius - Defense
A 6'0 defender in the Djurgardens program, Odelius is an '04 player who only played six games this year due to the pandemic putting an early end to the U18 league in Sweden. Could he be possible depth for the Rangers in the future? Pavel Cajan will be one of the team's imports next season. Of course they will work hard to recruit first round selection Mesar. If they are unable to, perhaps they turn their attention to Odelius?
Scouting Report:
"In Sweden, the '04's were probably hurt by the pandemic nearly as much as the Ontario '04's were, as the Swedish junior leagues barely played. It makes it difficult to get a read on someone like Odelius, who otherwise probably would have been highly visible at the U17's, in the U20 league in Sweden, and at other international events. Instead, InStat has only a couple of matches to look at. Odelius definitely looks like a potentially strong puck mover. He has high end mobility and quickness and it allows him to be lead the charge out of the defensive end to start the breakout. He also looks like an aggressive offensive player who is willing to jump up into the play and pinch to make things happen. Defensively, he looks solid enough, but would definitely classify him as more of an offensive threat." - Brock Otten

116. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds - Julian Lutz - Forward
Another huge home run swing in the second round, the Greyhounds take German winger Julian Lutz, a potential first round selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. Lutz has been playing out of Austria for the Red Bull program but recently signed with EHC Munchen of the DEL to return home for his NHL draft year. Perhaps the Greyhounds can convince him otherwise? 
Scouting Report:
Julian Lutz has a contract with the Munich Red Bulls of the DEL for the upcoming season. Fans and experts in Germany fully expect this very special talent to pretty much follow in the exact same path as Tim Stützle, Lukas Reichel, and JJ Peterka, namely by spending his draft year as a regular in the DEL at age 17. He’s a very heady kid with a strong nose for the goal and a whole lot of power in making his way to it. He can score goals just as well as set them up and spent this past season already showing the world that he’s physically capable and ready to play pro hockey against men, having spent the bulk of the season for Red Bull Academy in the third class AlpsHL. He also spent time in Austria’s top circuit and had a 1-game cameo for Munich of the DEL, where he had an assist. For my taste, he was underwhelming at the U18. Some will say that you could still see that he was clearly one of Germany’s absolute best-schooled and trained players, but I’ve seen him do a lot of special things in generating offensive opportunities - sometimes out of nothing - at the pro level and was very surprised, if not disappointed, that we didn’t really get to see this at the U18. One way or the other, we’re talking about a player who should spend next season making a case to be a first rounder in 2022. And we all know how strong that draft is shaping up to be!” - Chapin Landvogt
118. Barrie Colts - Oskar Olausson - Forward 
Last OHL pick of the Import draft is potentially a great one. Olausson is a potential first round selection for the 2021 NHL Draft, having played in the SHL this season and at the U20 World Juniors. Interestingly enough, Olausson's SHL team, HV71, was relegated to the Allsvenskan for next season. If the NHL team that drafts him prefers him to be in the OHL than the Allesvenskan, could that work in Barrie's favour?
Scouting Report:
"In Olausson’s case, his feet work quite well. When he isn’t playing as an F3, he forechecks hard, with a plus top speed that puts a lot of pressure on defenders. He can play a dump-and-chase game, as his legs can get him past the defense and onto the puck, and if there is a tie, he has the bulk and strength to put doubts into those defenders’ heads. That said, often times he has been put in positions where his skating has not been put to use, as the third forward in, looking to collect loose pucks. Of course, there is good cause to have him in that F3 role as well, as Olausson’s shot might be as strong as his wheels. His wrist shot can find twine from anywhere in the home plate area. He releases it very quickly, with a lot of power and strong placement. A quick look at his shot map on the season shows that he almost never misses the net; If the puck isn’t blocked by a defender, the goalie will have to deal with it. Another strength of Olausson’s game is his off-puck play. On the one hand, this is kind of necessary, as he doesn’t spend all that much time touching the puck, but on the other hand, he makes himself useful from a defensive perspective. When the opposition is in his end, the lanky winger leaves the flanks to tie up his man in the middle of the ice, and also uses his stick well to help break up plays. While he may not be the guy to kickstart the transition, he at least helps kill whatever the opposition has planned and sets the stage for a linemate to regain control." - McKeen's Draft Guide 2021

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