Pittsburgh, PA – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that 18 CHL players were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA, on Friday night.
The 18 CHL players marks the fourth highest league total over the last 15 years following the record 21 CHL players chosen in 2011, and 20 CHL players picked in both the 2008 and 1998 drafts.
The Ontario Hockey League led the way with 11 players selected which matches 2011 and 2008 as their most successful first rounds in modern draft history with Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting chosen first overall. The Western Hockey League had six players selected including five of the first eight picks, which they last accomplished back in 1995, led this season by defenceman Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips chosen second overall. Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts was the only current member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey chosen in the first round at number 12, however Stefan Matteau who is a future member of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada committed for the 2012-13 season was selected at number 29.
Yakupov became the sixth straight CHL player to be selected first overall when he was chosen by the Edmonton Oilers following Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels and Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires who were also picked by the Oilers each of the last two seasons, John Tavares of the London Knights chosen first overall by the New York Islanders in 2009, the Sting’s Steven Stamkos chosen first overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008, and the Knights’ Patrick Kane chosen first overall by the Chicago Blackhawks back in 2007.
CHL Players Selected in the First Round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft:
Select a player above to watch their individual interview from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.