SAGINAW, Mich. – Saginaw Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill announced Wednesday the signing of 2017 CHL Import Pick Tom Bappert to a standard player agreement.
“As an organization, we are pleased that Tom has signed a standard player agreement with the Spirit. Having gotten to know him a little bit through this process, you can see he is a person of high character and is also passionate about coming to play in Saginaw. We look forward to watching him develop with this group and bring some leadership to our backend.”
Bappert, 18, hails from Menden, Germany and spent the 2016-17 season playing for Kölner EC Under-19 team. The 6’0, 180-pound Defenseman had 27 points in 36 games and competed internationally as the captain of the German Under-18 national team. The Spirit selected Bappert in the second round, 70th overall in the 2017 CHL Import Draft.
Audio interview: Joey Battaino talks to Tom Bappert after being selected in the 2017 CHL Import Draft.
The 26th annual CHL Import Draft included a total of 72 players consisting of 50 forwards and 22 defensemen selected from 11 different countries featuring a draft-high 19 players from Russia.
Of the 72 players selected, 25 were chosen by 19 different Ontario Hockey League teams.
The two-round draft took 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 within each league from the 2016-17 season.
The 2017 CHL Import Draft featured 11 players previously selected by NHL teams in 2016 and 2017 drafts, with six of those players headed to OHL teams. Of that group, three were selected in the first round this past weekend in Chicago including first round picks Martin Necas (12th, Carolina) chosen 10th overall by the Saginaw Spirit, Timothy Liljegren (17th, Toronto) chosen 13th overall by the Niagara IceDogs, and Filip Chytil (21st, New York Rangers) chosen seventh overall by the North Bay Battalion.
A total of 37 players selected in the 2017 CHL Import Draft are first-year eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft including 10 among OHL picks, while four players selected are not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2019 including two OHL picks.
Each team in the CHL is permitted to dress and play a maximum of two import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft.