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Sask-based Western Hockey League teams make seven selections in CHL Import Draft

Swift Current, Saskatoon each make a pair of picks in annual draft of top talent from outside North America

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM -- The Canadian Hockey League Import Draft was held on Wednesday morning, with major junior teams from all over the country seeking the top talent outside of North America.

The five Saskatchewan-based Western Hockey League teams made a total of seven selections from the two-round event, with the Swift Current Broncos and Saskatoon Blades each picking a pair of players.

Here’s a rundown of each of the team selections, listed by their first pick overall.


Vaclav Nestrasil, first round eighth overall

Praha, Czechia

Forward, 17, 6-foot-4, 172 pounds, 

2024-25 -- HC Sporta Praha U17 -- 34 GP 29-21-50  World U17 -- 7 GP 4-1-5

“We were very pleased to select Nestrasil in this morning’s CHL Import Draft. Vaclav is a very talented young player, big body, with great skill, hockey sense and touch. He projects as a top NHL Draft prospect. We look forward to our discussions with Vaclav, his family and his representatives about the opportunity with the Pats.”

-- Alan Miller, Regina general manager

* Nestrasil is committed to the University of Massachusetts and played the end of last season in the USHL with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.


Norwin Panocha, first round, 26th overall

Bayreuth, Germany

Defence, 19, 6-foot-2, 192 pounds

2024-25 -- QMJHL Chicoutimi -- 52 GP 0-15-15  World U20 -- 5 GP 1-0-1

“We think he’s a guy that can come in and provide good competition, but support some of our younger defencemen as well and give us really good depth. I think it will be a very easy transition for him to get here and we’re really excited about it.”
-- Curtis Hunt, Prince Albert general manager

* Panocha was selected by and played last season with Chicoutimi of the QMJHL but was released in advance of the 2024 CHL Import Draft


Adam Kral, first round 50th overall

Havlickuv Brod, Czechia

Defence, 18, 6-foot-2, 181 pounds

2024-25 -- Bili Tygri Liberec U20 -- 50 GP 6-13-19  World U18 -- 5 GP 0-0-0

“Adam is a big body defender who skates well. He has represented his country on the international stage and will be a guy that should fit into a top four pairing and log a lot of minutes for us.”

-- Chad Leslie, Swift Current general manager

William Morin, second round 110th overall

Boden, Sweden

Forward, 17, 6-foot-1, 170 pounds

2024-25 -- Lulea HF -- 41 GP 14-14-28  World U17 -- 6 GP 0-0-0

“William has a good frame and has offensive upside. His lack of physical strength is dictating for him at this point, and I feel there is a lot of ceiling left in his game.”

-- Leslie


Dominik Pavlik, first round 53rd overall

Trutnov, Czechia

Forward, 17, 6-foot-1, 187 pounds

2024-25 -- Karpat Finland -- 40 GP 21-13-35  World U17 -- 8 GP 2-1-3

“We’re getting a big centreman who plays a heavy game, has some skill and shoots well and is a good skater. He compliments our ‘07 group and is a good player for us as we build toward our future here.”

-- Jason Ripplinger, Moose Jaw general manager


Vlastimil Blazek, first round 60th overall


Forward, 16, 5-foot-9, 152 pounds

2024-25 -- HC Energie Karlovy Vary -- 44 GP 40-39-76

“Vlasti is a skilled, explosive player who is a late 2007 birthday which means he is still two years away from his NHL draft year. Meeting with him on Zoom we were reminded a lot of the energy and passion that Egor Sidorov had when we first met him. He had two points per game in the Czech U17 league last year and began playing internationally for Czechia. He already speaks excellent English and is very outgoing so I believe he will transition to North America faster than some other European players that come over.”

-- Colin Priestner, Saskatoon general manager

David Lewandowski, second round 120th overall


Forward, 17, 6-foot-1, 172 pounds

2024-25 -- Dusseldorfer EG -- 35 GP, 16-37-53  World U18 Hlinka -- 5 GP 2-5-7

“We feel that David is probably the best German prospect in the last two years in the Import Draft. We felt he was Germany’s best player last summer in the Hlinka tournament as an underage and his potential shows all the tools to be a high NHL draft pick next June.”

-- Priestner

* Lewandowski is committed to begin the 2024-25 season in the German Elite League but Saskatoon remains hopeful he will join the Blades at some point