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Thunderbirds choose two forwards in CHL Import Draft | Western Hockey league
The Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds selected two players in the annual CHL Import Draft Wednesday.
Seattle took center Alexander True from Denmark in the first round with the 48th overall selection and picked forward Florian Baltram from Austria in the second round with the 108th overall selection..
"Alexander is a hard working center who we think is going to be a good two-way player in our league," said T-Birds general manager Russ Farwell. "With his size and hockey sense he will be a prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft."
True, 6-feet-3 and 179 pounds, played with three teams in three leagues in Denmark last season. He appeared in 16 games with the Rungsted U17 team and had 62 points on 38 goals and 24 assists. He was promoted to the Rungsted IK team in the Danish second division where he played in 25 games and had 22 points on 10 goals and 12 assists. True played 11 games with the Rungsted team in the top Danish men's league but did not register a point.
True also played for Team Denmark at the U18 World Championship in Finland in April. He appeared in six games and had one assist. True was born in 1997 and will be eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time next summer.
True was reached at his home in Hoersholm, Denmark, after the Import Draft. "I am very excited to be selected by the Thunderbirds. It always has been a dream to come to North America to play hockey. I feel I am good in both ends of the ice and take responsibility in the defensive zone."
"Florian played for a U-20 team in Austria and was the best player in his age group in the league," said Farwell. "He was the leading scorer among his age group and he has a great reputation character wise and is a proven scorer."
Baltram, 5-feet-10 and 170 pounds, played for the Lower Austria Stars in the Austrian U20 league last season. He played in 42 games and had 41 points on 17 goals and 24 assists.
Baltram was also a member of Team Austria at the U-18 Division 1 Group B World Championship in Hungary in April. He played in five games and had one goal and one assist. Baltram was born in 1997 and will be eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time next summer.
Every CHL team is allowed a maximum of two non-North American players on their roster each season. These players must be drafted in the CHL Import Draft held each summer to be eligible to play.
Teams are permitted to select in the Import Draft if they have less than two import players on their current roster. Entering the draft the T-Birds had no Import Players on their roster. The previous two seasons, Alexander Delnov and Roberts Lipsbergs were the T-Birds Import Players.
Seattle opens the 2014-15 season on Sept. 19 at Portland.