The Euros are Coming!

So the Halifax Moosheheads selected to highly touted forward prospect in the CHL Import Draft Wednesday. The Import Draft is often filled with mystery as few people this side of the Atlantic know the players well and there are often questions whether the players are interested in coming over. Prior to the draft, many people had those questions of Halifax’s first pick Nikolaj Ehlers. Considered as possibly the top prospect to ever come out of Denmark, Ehlers had made the jump to the Swiss pro ranks as a 16 year old and signed a contract with HC Biel for the upcoming year. Some thought this indicated a preference to stay.

But Mooseheads GM, Cam Russell, did his due diligence as he was confident both we would be here for training camp. That confidence has been shown to be well founded according to his comments on a Danish Sports website and using the Google Translate tool:

I have for some time been in dialogue with Halifax and knew that I would be their first choice, says Nikolai Ehlers…

It increases my chances in the NHL draft choice next year. Now I get the chance to show that I can handle a long hard season. Moosehead has a strong team and a good organization, and I could not get to a better club.

Nikolaj Ehlers is joined to Halifax by a good friend from Switzerland, Timo Meier, who was draftet as No. 12

Another French publication had comments from Ehlers Swiss club that they would not obstruct Ehlers should he choose to play in North America:

“We knew Nikolaj would be drafted by a junior team in Canada, says sporting director Martin Steinegger HC Bienne. I do not know yet that he wants to give direction to his career, but if he decides to try his luck in North America, we can not even hold his contract.”

So unlike when the team drafted Martin Frk and had some difficult securing his release from his club team. it looks like there will be no such headaches with Ehlers or Meier. Welcome to Moose Country boys.

As for the Screaming Eagles and the Charlottetown Islanders, they added some talent as well.

The Eagles went for a couple of high-risk-high-reward Russians. Event though it can be risky drafting Russians, even the NHL Entry draft sometimes, due to the playing options and money available to them at home, Eagles head coach and general manager Marc-André Dumont thinks it is worth the calculated risk to select Maxim Lazarev and Evgeny Svechnikov.

from the Cape Breton Post:

“It’s a calculated risk to say that Maxim will be with us (this fall),” said Dumont. “We’re going to work hard at it and we have confidence we’ll be able to get an agreement with the family and with Max.

“For Evgeny, he doesn’t have the intentions of coming to Cape Breton as of now for this season coming, so it’s going to be a process. We’ll take it one day at a time.”

Both are high skilled guys that could have an immediate impact for the Eagles. Sure beats last year when they selected a player that was sure to report only to cut him early on becuase of his performance.

As for the newly named Islanders, they made one selection, adding German winger Marco Sendlar. Islanders made only one pick as it is beleived that current import Matej Beran, from the Czech Republic, will be returning to the lineup as a 20 year old.

“We added a top 6 forward to help replace some of the offense that was lost from last season which has been a focus from day one,” said Islanders General Manager, Grant Sonier.

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