Courtesy Photo, Seattle Thunderbirds

Courtesy Photo, Seattle Thunderbirds

Seattle Thunderbirds sign two import draft players

Right wing from Italy; defenseman from Great Britain

The Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds signed 2021 Canadian Hockey League (CHL)Import Draft selections Alessandro Segafredo and Leon Okonkwo Prada to standard Western Hockey League (WHL) player agreements.

“It is very rewarding to have Alessandro and Leon signed,” said Seattle general manager Bil La Forge in a July 6 press release. “We are excited that the best fans in the WHL will have the opportunity to watch and cheer on both players this coming season. We look forward to seeing them come in and join what we feel is a very exciting roster.”

Segafredo, a right wing from Italy, was selected in the first round, 41st overall. Segafredo played 26 games for the ZSC Lions U17 team last season and had 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points to lead the team in scoring. Segafredo also played 24 games for the GCK Lions U20 team and had 10 goals and one assist for 11 points. Segafredo, 16, is eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft.

Okonkwo Prada, a defenseman from Great Britain, was selected in the second round, 86th overall. Last season Okonkwo Prada played eight games with the Rogle J18 team in Sweden and had one goal and six assists for seven points. Okonkwo Prada, 18, is eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft.

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.

The T-Birds open the 2021-22 regular season against the Portland Winterhawks on Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. Seattle’s home opener is against the Winterhawks at 6:05 p.m. Oct. 9 at accesso ShoWare Center.

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