The Saginaw Spirit initially had the 10th and 70th picks in the 2017 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, however, since each CHL team is only allowed a maximum of 2 import players on its roster, some teams had to pass, allowing the Spirit to move up and take the 9th and 57th picks this afternoon.
With the departure of Detroit Red Wings prospect Filip Hronek (to the Grand Rapids Griffins) and Edmonton Oilers prospect Markus Niemelainen (heading back to Finland to play for HPK in the Finnish Elite League) the Spirit were able to utilize both of its international picks.
The Spirit selected forward Martin Necas
from the Czech Republic with the 9th overall pick, and German defenseman Tom Bappert
with the 57th overall pick.
He would go on to lead HC Kometa Brno
to the 2016-17 Czech Extraliga
championship, scoring 4-goals in 10 playoff games in his professional debut in the Czech Republic's top professional hockey league.
The 6-foot-1, 178-pound right-shooting center from Nové Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic had 15-points (7-goals, 8-assists) in 41-games, which led to his selection in the first round, as the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft by the Carolina Hurricanes at the United Center in Chicago, IL last week.
Bappert, a left-shooting defenseman played the 2016-17 season for Kolner EC U19 in the Deutsche Nachwuchs Liga, which is the German development league.
The 18 year old blue liner from Menden, Germany had 26-points (7-goals, 19-assists) in 38-games for Kolner EC in the German Development League last year.
He also added 4-points (2-goals, 2-assists) in 5-games for the German National Team at the 2016-17 U18 World Junior Championships last winter.
Necas and Bappert will join the the rest of the team at the 2017 Saginaw Spirit training camp on Aug 28, at the Dow Event center.