EVERETT – The Everett Silvertips added one new player in the 2014 CHL Import Draft on Wednesday, selecting 1997-born Russian winger Alexander Zhebelev with the 45th overall pick. Zhebelev joins Everett’s two returning import players, defenseman Mirco Mueller and forward Ivan Nikolishin, on the club’s protected list ahead of next season.
Although Canadian Hockey League teams are allowed a maximum of two import players on their rosters, the Silvertips are currently permitted to carry three such players because Mueller is a first-round NHL draft pick. If Mueller is returned to Everett by the NHL’s San Jose Sharks next season, the ‘Tips would once again be limited to holding the rights to only two European imports.
Zhebelev, who turns 17 on Saturday, spent his 16-year-old season in his home city of Moscow playing in the Dynamo Moscow organization. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound forward scored 27 goals and assisted on 27 others for a total of 54 points in 41 games with Dynamo last season. He also scored a goal in one appearance with HC MVD Balashikha of Russia’s primary junior league, the MHL.
“All the reports we’ve seen on Alexander are very positive,” said Silvertips General Manager Garry Davidson. “I understand he’s a strong kid coming in around 190 pounds that can score goals and finish. He was on the Russian U-17 national team last year and I’m sure will be considered for their U-18 team at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, which takes place next month. I had an NHL scout tell me after the pick that he was very confident we had grabbed a good player who should be a good fit in the CHL.”
Competing for Team Russia at the 2014 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Nova Scotia, Zhebelev tied for fourth in the tournament with four goals and totaled five points to help Russia win the Bronze Medal. He was also selected in the second round (65th overall) of the 2014 KHL Draft in May by HC Admiral Vladivostok.
CLICK HERE for complete results of the 2014 CHL Import Draft.
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