SAGINAW, MI – The Saginaw Spirit have selected defenseman Ilya Solovyov (SO-low-vee-ov) with the 53rd overall pick in the 2019 CHL Import Draft Thursday. After a pass from Victoriaville (21), the Spirit made their pick from the 52nd position. The Spirit passed on the 113th overall pick.
“We are pleased to select Ilya Solovyov in the CHL Import Draft and welcome him to the Spirit family,” said Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill. “One of the things that attracted us to Ilya was the fact that he played against men in the World Championships this past spring. We felt like we needed to add a veteran defenseman to our group. We are excited to bring Ilya to Saginaw, and get him started with us in training camp.”
Solovyov, 18, hails from Mogilev, Belarus and played the 2018-19 season for the Belarusian Under-20 National Team. Solovyov appeared in 69 games including tournament play, scoring three goals and five assists. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound, left-shot defenseman won a silver medal in both the Division 1 World Championships and the World Junior Division 1 Championships. Solovyov had options to play in the Kontinental Hockey League, but is choosing to come to North America to play major junior hockey.