The Canadian Hockey League has made a second major trade to the way they will conduct their import draft this year and into the future.
Earlier this season to promote a more level playing field the WHL, OHL and QMJHL disallowed the trading of Import Draft picks. Today the CHL announced a change to the way that goaltenders can be selected. To hear the reasoning behind the decisions you can hear an interview that I conducted with CHL President David Branch by clicking on the audio section above. At one point he clearly articulates the state of goaltending in Canada and the CHL.
Here’s the official word from the league:
The Canadian Hockey League today announced that 2013 will be the final opportunity for member clubs to select European goaltenders in the annual CHL Import Draft.
European goaltenders born in 1994 or 1995 may be selected by CHL clubs in the first round of the 2013 CHL Import Draft. For all current CHL Import goaltenders and any that may be selected in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, such goaltenders may continue to play in the CHL until they have exhausted their major junior eligibility.
“The goaltender position is the most important in our game,” said CHL President David Branch. “In partnership with Hockey Canada, the CHL has identified the need to further develop Canadian goaltenders by providing increased opportunities for them to compete in our league and succeed at the next level. The CHL will continue to be the world’s largest development league and the number one supplier of talent to the National Hockey League and Canadian Interuniversity Sport.”
The decision was made by the CHL Board of Directors at their meeting in May.
The 2013 CHL Import Draft takes place on Wednesday July 3 with the Vancouver Giants currently holding the first overall pick. The two-round draft will take place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues using an inverse order of final regular season standings from the 2012-13 season. Each team in the CHL is permitted to carry two European import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft.