The Spokane Chiefs selected 2001-born defenseman Yegor Arbuzov of Russia with the 50th overall pick in the CHL Import Draft on Thursday morning.
Arbuzov, who will be first eligible for the NHL Entry Draft in 2019, stands 6-foot and 187 pounds. He played 22 games for CSKA Moscow in the Russian under-17 league last season, scoring eight goals and 13 points. He added one assist in seven games with Krasnaya Armiya Moscow of the Russian MHL junior league, along with a goal in seven games with the Russian U17 international team.
Arbuzov is the first Russian player selected by Spokane since 2001, when they selected forward Alexei Smirnov with the 28th overall pick, and first ever Russian defenseman. The last Russian to suit up for the Chiefs was forward Yegor Mikhailov, selected 46th overall in 1996. Mikhailov appeared in 45 games with Spokane during the 1996-97 season, scoring 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points.
Other notable former Russian imports for the Chiefs include forwards Dmitri Leonov, Maxim Bets and Valeri Bure.
Leonov was selected 13th overall in the import draft in 1993 and played three seasons in Spokane, highlighted by a team-leading 95-point performance during the 1995-96 season.
Bets was the Chiefs’ first ever CHL Import Draft pick in 1992 at 26th overall and holds multiple franchise records, including points by a rookie (106), goals by a rookie (49) and points in a single game (9).
Bure played for the Chiefs from 1991-94 and ranks sixth in franchise history in goals scored with 135. His 68 goals during the 92-93 campaign remain a franchise record.
Arbuzov joins Czech defenseman Filip Kral as the Chiefs’ two allowed import players. Kral earned the Chiefs’ Rookie of the Year award after scoring 35 points (9G-26A) in 54 games last season. He was selected in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2018 NHL draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
About the CHL Import Draft
The two-round CHL Import Draft takes place after the NHL Entry Draft each year with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues using an inverse order of final regular season standings within each league from the previous season. Each team in the CHL is permitted to dress and play a maximum of two import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.
Ticket packages for the 2018-19 regular season – including the popular Game of the Month Package which includes Bud Light Opening Night – are on sale now and start as low as $70! For more information, visit spokanechiefs.com or call a ticket account executive at 509-535-PUCK.