TORONTO - The London Knights have taken Finnish defenceman Olli Maatta first overall in the CHL import draft.
The six-foot-two 198-pounder played for Finland at the 2011 world junior championship in Buffalo. His previous club team was Jyvaskayla.
Maatta is eligible for the 2012 NHL draft.
The QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts used the second pick to grab Russian winger Mikhail Grigorenko. The Remparts acquired the pick from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Picking third, the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen took Swedish centre Victor Rask, taken in the second round of the recent NHL entry draft by Carolina. The Peterborough Petes chose Slovak defenceman Peter Ceresnak, a sixth-round pick of the New York Rangers, before Baie-Comeau Drakkar selected Czech defenceman Petr Sidlik.
The Swift Current Broncos used the sixth overall pick to take Norwegian goalie Steffan Soberg, a fourth-round pick of the Washington Capitals.
Each team in the CHL is permitted to carry two European Import players each season.
They are selected annually via the import draft, with the order of selection rotating through each of the three leagues in the CHL using inverse order of their previous regular season standings.