The Winnipeg Ice of the Western Hockey League granted Blackhawks forward prospect Michal Teply’s wish Thursday when they selected him fourth overall in the 2019 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
Finnish defenseman Kasper Puutio went first overall to Swift Current (WHL), followed by Slovakian winger Martin Chromiak to Kingston (OHL) and Swiss defenseman Noah Delemont to Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL). All three players are eligible for the 2020 NHL draft in Montreal.
Teply, who was drafted in the fourth round in the NHL draft last weekend by the Blackhawks, wanted to be picked up in last year’s CHL Import Draft but was passed over. He went on to record 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 23 games for Benatky nad Jizerou in the Czech Republic’s second division. He also got his first crack at the Extraliga, the Czech’s top league, where he had two assists in 15 games.
The 18-year-old Teply hopes his play will translate to the CHL like his friend and former Bili Tygri Liberec teammate Jan Jenik’s did with Hamilton in the OHL last season. Jenik, a 2018 third-round pick by Arizona, put up 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 27 regular-season games and one helper in two playoff contests for the Bulldogs.
At least two other Blackhawks prospects will play in the CHL next season — goaltender Alexis Gravel (QMJHL Halifax) and defenseman Cole Moberg (WHL Prince George). Defenseman Adam Boqvist could re-join OHL London or play in the AHL or NHL next season, while center Kirby Dach will play in the NHL or with WHL Saskatoon again.
The 2019-20 season will be the Ice’s first season in Winnipeg after moving from Cranbrook, British Columbia.