The Canadian Hockey League’s Annual Import Draft was held Tuesday and the Brandon Wheat Kings used the 60th pick of the opening round to select 18-year old Swedish defenceman Oliver Kylington.
The Wheat Kings had the final pick of the first round, thanks to finishing on top of the Western Hockey League’s regular season standings this past season with a record of 53-11-4-4.
A 6’ 181 lb native of Sundbyberg, Sweden, Kylington was chosen by the Calgary Flames in the second round (60th overall) of this past weekend’s National Hockey League Draft in Sunrise, Florida.
A talented two-way defenceman, who entered the weekend as one of the best skaters in this year’s NHL draft, Kylington scored ten goals and 19 points in 45 games this past season – a season that saw him play for three different clubs, including Farjestad U20.
“Oliver is a tremendous talent that will be an impact player at the major junior level,” says Brandon general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon. “He’s currently under contract in Sweden…so his availability to play in Brandon is uncertain at this time but we will work with the Flames and Oliver’s representatives to confirm his status.”
“He’s an interesting player," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said recently. "Prior to the start of the year, this guy’s talked about as one of the top players in the draft. He’s an elite skater. He’s as good a skater as there is in the draft. Now we’ve got to refine his game.”
In the second round, the Wheat Kings closed out the draft by choosing 5’10” 165 lb center Dario Winkler from Austria. In addition to playing for EC Salzburg in the MHL this past season, Winkler scored thirteen goals and 19 points while skating with both the U18 and U20 club teams.
While the Wheat Kings currently have two imports – Rihards Bukarts and Ivan Provorov – on their roster, the WHL club was permitted to make two selections today as Bukarts is entering his final year of junior eligibility and could turn professional for the 2015-16 season. Provorov meanwhile was chosen by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round (7th overall) of last weekend’s National Hockey League Draft in Sunrise, Florida.
A former first round Import pick of the Wheat Kings (30th overall in 2014), the 18-year old Russian blueliner could potentially play for the NHL’s Flyers this coming season.
Provorov led all WHL rookies in scoring this past season with fifteen goals and 61 points while Bukarts finished fourth in team scoring with 33 goals and 74 points.
CHL clubs are permitted to carry a maximum of two imports on their roster.