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NYR European Prospects Selected in CHL Import Draft

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
The Canadian Hockey League's (CHL) 10th annual Import Draft took place over the last two days, with three of the Rangers' 2001 draft selections chosen by Ontario Hockey League (OHL) clubs. Russian defensemen Fedor Tyutin (right) and Leonid Zhvachin were taken by the Guelph Storm (OHL), while Latvian forward Juris Stals was chosen by the Sarnia Sting (OHL).

The 55-team CHL is composed of clubs from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the Quebec Major Junior League (QMJHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL). Should these European players decide to leave their current clubs to play junior hockey in North America next season, these select CHL teams will hold their rights.

Tyutin, the Rangers second round draft choice at last weekend's NHL Entry Draft (40th overall), tallied two goals and four assists, along with 20 penalty minutes in 34 games last season with St. Petersburg of the Russian Elite League. The 6-3, 202-pounder was the 16th ranked European skater by Central Scouting prior to the draft and was rated 26th overall by The Hockey News. The defenseman was very impressive for Russia at the 2001 World Under-18 Championships a few months ago, collecting five points (one goal, four assists) and 18 penalty minutes in six matches.

Zhvachin, the Blueshirts' 2001 eighth round selection (230th overall), appeared in 50 games last season for Podolsk Vityaz in the Russian Junior League, recording two goals and 10 assists. The 6-2, 185-pound Russian defenseman is considered a 'stay-at-home' defenseman who takes the body effectively and shows a lot of character on the ice.

Stals, selected by the Rangers in the ninth round (269th overall) last weekend, skated with Lukko Rauma of the Finnish Junior League last season. Rangers scouts label the 6-3, 183-pound Latvian forward as a tireless, tenacious worker who displays a tremendous amount of energy on every shift.
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