Spokane, Wash. — The 2020 CHL Import Draft is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 30 and the Spokane Chiefs are expected to make one pick, at 54th overall. The draft will begin at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT.
Through the CHL Import Draft, every team in the CHL has the option to protect up to two players from outside North America to add to its roster. Picks are chosen in reverse order of the team’s standings in the CHL. With veteran defenseman Filip Král graduating due to age, the Chiefs are expected to utilize their available first-round pick to fill their vacant import roster spot.
The incoming player will have big shoes to fill as Král leaves Spokane as one of the most decorated defensemen in franchise history. Recent selections by the Chiefs in the CHL Import Draft include:
2019: G Lukáš Pařík (43rd; Czech Republic) and D Matvei Startsev (103rd; Russia)
- Pařík (2001) appeared in 32 games for the Chiefs as a rookie, posting a 22-7-2-0 record with a 2.73 GAA and .917 SV%. The Los Angeles Kings prospect (2019 3rd round) capped his first season in Spokane with his first WHL shutout and the first goal scored by a goaltender in Chiefs franchise history. Pařík also competed for his native Czech Republic at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. He is expected to return for the 2020-21 season.
- Because veteran defenseman Filip Král was an overage player drafted by an NHL club, the Chiefs were allowed to select a second player in the 2019 CHL Import Draft. Startsev (2002) appeared in one game for Spokane before being released. He went on to play for the Fargo Force (USHL) and Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL).
2018: D Egor Arbuzov (50th; Russia)
- Arbuzov (2001) was the first Russian player selected by the Chiefs since 2001 and played 58 games during his lone WHL season, scoring four goals and nine assists for 13 points. He suited up for four playoff games.
2017: F Milos Fafrak (18th; Slovakia) and D Filip Král (78th; Czech Republic)
- Fafrak (1999) was a mainstay in the Chiefs’ 2017-18 lineup, suiting up for 66 games and scoring 19 points (9G-10A), highlighted by a hat trick against the Seattle Thunderbirds in early December.
- Král (1999) was taken in the second round of the draft and became a three-year star for the Chiefs, scoring 120 points (31G-89A) in 154 career WHL games. During his WHL career, he was recognized as the Chiefs’ Rookie of the Year (2017-18), Co-Defenseman of the Year (2019-20) and Most Sportsmanlike Player (2019-20). He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth-round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and signed a professional contract earlier this year. Král helped the Czech Republic to a surprise 4th-place finish in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
2016: F Ondrej Najman (21st; Czech Republic) and F Pavel Kousal (64th; Czech Republic)
2015: F Niklas Andersen (25th; Denmark)
2014: D Tamas Laday (36th; Hungary)
2013: F Adam Hascic (43rd; Slovakia) and F Dominic Zwerger (74th; Austria)
The Chiefs also hold the rights to the 114th overall pick in this year’s draft but have indicated that they will pass on that selection. Fans can follow the draft online at chl.ca/draft.