The Kelowna Rockets selected Czech forward Pavel Novak at the 2019 CHL Import Draft. Photo: Kelowna Rockets

Rockets select Czech forward with 1st pick at CHL Import Draft

Pavel Novak was selected by Kelowna 13th overall

The Kelowna Rockets have made more additions to their roster.

The Rockets added two players at the 2019 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. The draft allows teams to select young players that live and play hockey outside of Canada and the U.S.

Czech forward Pavel Novak was the Rockets’ first pick at 13th overall in 2019, and Russian forward Dannil Gutik was selected 73rd overall.

“Both these players we picked today we think are talented players, both had good numbers,” said Rockets general manager Bruce Hamilton.

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Novak recorded 45 points in 31 games last season with Czech professional team Motor Ceske Budejovice U19. Gutik played 36 games with the Junior Hockey League in Russia last season where he registered 13 points and 12 penalty minutes.

Usually only allowed one pick in the Import Draft, the Rockets were given a second pick because of their 2018 Import draftee, Lassi Thomson, being selected in the first round of the NHL draft.

Thomson’s first-round selection by the Ottawa Senators means he may or may not return to the WHL next season. The Senators will decide what route the defenceman will take to continue his development if they sign Thomson to a entry-level deal. Thomson could also return to his hometown team in Finland.

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