Monday, 30 June 2014

Wheat Kings Prepare for CHL Import Draft

Rihards Bukarts will be one of the Wheat Kings'
Import Players in 2014-2015
  The crapshoot this is the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft takes place Wednesday, with the Brandon Wheat Kings holding the 30th overall pick.

  The CHL Import Draft is a different animal than nearly every other draft that is hold because it's not necessarily about taking the best available player or filling a hole in your roster, it's also about choosing a player that will report to your team AND will be released to do so by his own country's Ice Hockey Federation.

  "It's based on networking, dealing with player agents wil respect to availability, contract status in their home countries," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon this week, "Then, as well, dealing with NHL scouts in terms of getting some background on what type of player you might be considering so there's a lot that goes into it."

  Brandon already has the CHL limit of two import players on their roster in Richard Nejezchleb and Rihards Bukarts but because are allowed to pick on player Wednesday because Nejezchleb would be a 20-year old and is a possibility to play professional.

  "Now that he's been selected by a team (NY Rangers), it's going to depend on how he does on their development camp, their camp in the fall, what they do with signing him or returning to junior, those things have to play out," said McCrimmon, "Based on that, we'll proceed to do our homework on selecting a player here on Wednesday."

  McCrimmon also confirmed that Latvian forward Rihards Bukarts would return for a second season with the Wheat Kings after scoring 28 goals and 54 points in 65 games in his rookie season with Brandon in 2013-2014.

  If Nejezchleb does get returned to the Wheat Kings by the Rangers, if could create a logjam of imports for the Wheat Kings.

  Brandon would have to get down to the CHL limit of two, presumably within a two-week span of Nejezchleb being returned.

  You can follow the CHL Import Draft online at

  The Wheat Kings' pick should take place around noon (CDT).

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