Giants add Czech junior in import draft
June 28, 2012
Gordie Howe playfully elbows Michael Buble while showing off the new Vancouver Giants jerseys at the Pacific Coliseum in February.
Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , PNG
VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Giants had the 44th overall pick in Wednesday’s Canadian Hockey League import draft, and used it to select left winger Ales Kilnar from Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Kilnar will turn 19 on October 5th (born in 1993), and will be eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft after going unselected in this year’s edition. Listed at 6’0” and 185 lbs, he played last season for Vitkovice Ostrave of the Czech Junior League and registered 28 goals, 23 assists and 107 PIM in 39 games.
“We are excited to have Ales join our team, and look for him to add skill and depth up front”, says Giants Executive VP and General Manager Scott Bonner. “We were told by former NHL & WHL alumni Vladimir Vujtek that Kilnar will suit the North American game extremely well and should be a great fit in a Vancouver Giants uniform.”
The Giants’ other import roster spot is taken by Marek Tvrdon, who in his second season with the Giants posted 31 goals and 43 assists in 60 regular season games. The Slovakian left winger then added 3 goals and 3 assists in 6 playoff games. Tvrdon was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 4th Round, 115th overall, of the 2011 NHL Draft.
Canadian Hockey League teams can have a maximum of two import players on their active roster.
The Giants also announced they have acquired goaltender Liam Liston from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for a 3rd Round and 6th Round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
A native of St. Albert, Alberta, Liston is a two-year WHL veteran, having split time between the Brandon Wheat Kings and Lethbridge Hurricanes. The 6’2”, 195 lbs goaltender is 19 years old and has a 29-30-0-1 career record, with 2 shut-outs.
“We are hoping that Liam can have a similar break-out season to what Adam Morrison had last year”, says Giants Executive VP and General Manager Scott Bonner. “He comes with some real good experiences under his belt, like being around a Memorial Cup team in Brandon, and attending the CHL Top Prospects game in 2011.”
Meanwhile, the Giants said that forward Dalton Sward will attend the Vancouver Canucks Prospect Development Camp running June 29 through July 2 in Vancouver.
Sward will join fellow Giant Cain Franson at the camp. Like Franson, Sward was not selected in last weekend’s NHL Draft, but still earned an invitation to the camp as a free agent invitee.
The Abbotsford native has two full seasons under his belt with the Giants, compiling 21 goals and 17 assists in 117 career games. The gritty 18-year-old forward lists his hometown Canucks as his favourite NHL team, so this weekend will surely be a huge thrill as well as a great opportunity to show he belongs among the elite prospects in junior hockey.
Sward was the Giants 1st Round pick, 21st overall in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun