Forward Andrei Svechnikov, a candidate to be the first pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, was selected by Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League with the first pick of the 2017 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft on Wednesday.
Svechnikov (6-foot-1, 188 pounds) played for Muskegon of the United States Hockey League this season. He was sixth in the league with 58 points (29 goals, 29 assists) in 48 games and was named the league's rookie of the year. He also helped Russia win the bronze medal at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a team-best nine points (four goals, five assists) in seven games.
"I am extremely excited and honored to be chosen first overall in the CHL import Draft and I am very excited to be coming to the OHL and the Barrie Colts," Svechnikov, 17, told the Barrie website.
He is the younger brother of Detroit Red Wings forward prospect Evgeni Svechnikov, who made his NHL debut in April after being selected with the 19th pick of the 2015 NHL Draft.
"Andrei is a very skilled hockey player," Barrie coach Dale Hawerchuk said. "He's a natural goal scorer and we're fortunate to have player like that joining the team. He's one of those players that make his teammates on the ice better."
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Rollenhagen
Center Alexander Khovanov (5-11, 187), a 2018 Draft prospect, was taken by Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the No. 2 pick. The 17-year-old forward had 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 29 games with Irbis Kazan in the Russia junior league.
Forward Gilian Kohler, 17, was selected by Kootenay of the Western Hockey League with the third pick. A 2018 Draft prospect, Kohler (5-10, 158) had 50 points (eight goals, 42 assists) in 43 games for Biel in Switzerland's junior league.
Three players selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft were taken by OHL teams. Center Filip Chytil (New York Rangers, No. 21) was picked by North Bay at No. 6; center Martin Necas (Carolina Hurricanes, No. 12) by Saginaw at No. 10; and defenseman Timothy Liljegren (Toronto Maple Leafs, No. 17) by Niagara at No. 13.
The two-round draft saw 72 players selected. Each CHL team can have two import players on its roster.