Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hurricanes Take Swede & Slovak in Import Draft

The Lethbridge Hurricanes had an exciting CHL Import Draft which saw them select a pair of European import players.

Canes GM and Head Coach Rich Preston announced early in the day that the Lethbridge Hurricanes selected Swedish defenseman Albin Blomqvist in the first round of the 2011 CHL Import Draft (12th overall). Blomqvist is a 6’3”, 194 pound defenseman who was a member of the Swedish U-17 and U-18 National teams and was the winner of a silver medal in the 2010-11 U18 World Juniors. Most recently he was ranked 71st among European skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings prior to the 2011 NHL Draft. His brother, Anton, was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 167th overall in 2009.

“From the video we’ve seen and the scouting reports we have Albin is a big strong kid, who plays very strong in the defensive zone” said Canes Assistant GM Brad Robson “He’s a strong skater and an excellent penalty killer who uses his size and strength to win battles – a solid steady defensive d-man with some offensive upside.”

Preston was not finished there as he then announced a trade in the afternoon which saw Lethbridge swap their 8th round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft to Spokane in exchange for the Chiefs first round pick (56th overall) in the 2011 CHL Import Draft. The Canes then used this pick to select Slovakian Juraj Bezuch, a 5’10 175 pound forward. Bezuch has been a member of both the U18 and U20 Slovakian National team and last season he tallied 38 goals and 27 assists for 65 points in 40 games in the U18 Extraliga Slovakia. The 93-born forward has a late birthdate and is eligible for the 2012 NHL Draft.

(From Ryan Ohashi, Hurricanes Manager of Communications & Events)


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  1. Interesting Kootenay took no Euros again this is always tough to tell what you get or how they will react to the North American game....Canes have lots of flexibility to pick up a top six scorer like Preston wanted so let's see what happens.

  2. If the Swedish D-man works out, look for Preston to deal one of his 19 year old blueliners.


  3. Preston needs to realize these players aren't coming over here to back check....they're coming over here to get used to the ice size and score points......that's the only thing that gets them noticed. If he tries force them to into a two-way game, they will suffer the same fate as Kuvaev........on the bench.

  4. RJS.....Exactly which 19 year old blue liner is going to be worth trading?????? Certainly nobody that I watched last year on the blueline is worth anything more than a 4th Round pick. I guess if a 4th Rounder is what Preston expects, then great, but otherwise, there isn't enough quality on the blueline to fetch anything in a trade.