Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds Hockey Club will participate in the 26th annual CHL Import Draft this Wednesday, June 28 at 11 a.m. ET.
Last summer, the Firebirds selected defenseman Michal Steinocher and forward Kristian Vesalainen in the 25th annual CHL Import Draft. Vesalainen was picked in the first-round, 24th overall, by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2017 NHL Draft last Saturday.
The Firebirds are expected to select one player in the 2017 CHL Import Draft Wednesday. With four teams expected to pass on their selection ahead of Flint, the Firebirds will have the 21st overall pick.
Flint recently acquired German forward Max Kislinger in a trade with the North Bay Battalion on June 20 and have released Steinocher. Due to the following rule below, the Firebirds will continue to hold the rights to Vesalainen:
“An Import Player who has been drafted and fails to sign and play for the Club that drafted the player in the immediate preceding CHL Import Draft, provided he has been on the Club’s designated list of two Import Players for one complete hockey season, may be placed on the Special Import List on the cut-down date.”
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL), known as the premiere player development league for the NHL, is one of three major junior ice hockey leagues based in Canada and the United States that constitute the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). Through the CHL Import Draft, every team in the CHL has the option to protect up to two players from outside North America to add to its roster. Picks are chosen in reverse order of the team’s standings in the CHL. The import draft is seen as a way to raise the level of competition in the CHL, as well as to broaden its fan base while retaining high North American content.
The two-round draft takes place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues using an inverse order of final regular season standings within each league from the previous season. CHL teams are allowed to keep two Import players on the roster. If the club expects to keep these two players for the upcoming season, they can pass in the Import Draft.
Stay tuned to FlintFirebirds.com for live coverage of the 2017 CHL Import Draft Wednesday.
The Firebirds’ training camp will take place Monday, Aug. 28 through Wednesday, Aug. 30. The camp will be held at the Firebirds’ practice facility, Iceland Arenas, on Elms Rd. in Clayton Township and is open to the public with free admission for all on-ice sessions.
Season ticket packages for the Flint Firebirds 2017-18 season are on sale now and can be purchased at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office, Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET). Season ticket holders receive FREE parking this season. For ticket information, contact Kevin Mays, Director of Ticket Sales at (810) 201-6903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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