T-Birds Take ? in 2012 CHL Import Draft

Left wing Alexander Delnov and center Roberts Lipsbergs both selected in first round

KENT, June 27, 2012 — The Seattle Thunderbirds selected left wing Alexander Delnov with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2012 CHL Import Draft.

Delnov, from Moscow, is 6’0 and 187 pounds and was born January 14, 1994. He was a fourth round pick, 114th overall, of the Florida Panthers at the 2012 NHL Draft.

Delnov played for Mytischi Atlanty in the Russian Junior league last season. He appeared in 47 games and had 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points with 16 penalty minutes.

Delnov represented Russia at the U-18 World Championships in April. He appeared in six games and had a goal and two assists with 12 penalty minutes.

“Alexander is a smart player with good skill that plays with tenacity,” said T-Birds head coach Steve Konowalchuk. “When Russia was playing in the Under 18 tournament we felt he was one of the best all around players on their team.”

The T-Birds acquired the Edmonton Oil Kings first round pick, 60th overall, for a 10th round selection in the 2013 Bantam Draft. They used this pick to take center Roberts Lipsbergs from Latvia.

Lipsbergs is 5’10 and 176 pounds and was born July 29, 1994. Last season he played 58 games for HK Riga in the Russian Junior League and had 28 points on 14 goals and 14 assists.

Lipsbergs also represented Latvia at two tournaments last year playing in both the World Junior Championships and the U-18 World Championships. At the World Junior Championships he had two goals and an assist in six games. At the U-18 World Championship Lipsbergs played in six games and had four goals and two penalty minutes. He was also an assistant captain for Team Latvia at the U-18 tournament.

“Roberts is a competitor with a hard shot and he likes to shoot the puck,” said Konowalchuk. “We have picked two players that will be contributors offensively to our team next year.”

An Import Player is defined as a player whose parent(s) do not reside in Canada or the United States as of January 11 preceding that year’s CHL Import Draft. If a CHL club has no Import Players, they are eligible to draft two Import Players, if they have one import, they are allowed to draft one, and if they have two Import Players they are not eligible to participate in the draft.

T-Birds season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

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