As we approach the end of June, it was that time of year again as the CHL Import Draft officially got underway on Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m. and with the Hounds releasing Russian forward Makar Tokarev at the end of April, the club has decided to select a Finnish born player this time.
The Hounds, who owned the 26th overall pick took Finnish born forward Otto Makinen.
Makinen, 18, who stands 6’1 and weighs 180 pounds, spent this past season playing in his hometown of Tappara, Finland, scoring 11 goals and 30 points through 47 regular season games along with collecting 39 penalty minutes with Tappara Tampere Jr.
He then had 0 goals and 2 assists through 3 playoff games.
At the 2016 WJC-18 championship, the Tampere, Finland product scored 1 goal and 1 assist through 7 games, helping Finland U18 to a gold medal.
The Hounds decided to pass on their 2nd round (86th pick) as they are holding a spot for veteran defenceman Gustav Bouramman on the 2016-2017 roster.
The last time the Hounds had a Finnish born player was back in 1955, when they had the late Pentti Lund. That was when the Hounds were in the NOHA.
Lund, who played two seasons with the Hounds from 1953-1955, scored 14 goals and 34 points through 54 career games played.
In 1948-1949, Lund became the first Finnish born player to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year, after putting up 30 points through 59 regular season games with the New York Rangers.
Pennti, a former forward, was also the first ever Finnish player to score a goal in the NHL.