The Canadian Hockey League Import Draft got underway today, with two rounds slated for all Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Western Hockey League teams.
New Lightning prospect Jonne Tammela was selected by OHL Peterborough in first round, 15th overall. The Lightning's fourth round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft will take his tenacity and skill to the OHL, joining fellow import Dominik Masin and newly selected Matt Spencer with the Petes. Tammela played in the SM-Liiga in Finland against men for a good portion of last season, where teenagers are normally used as checking liners. Moving to Ontario with the Petes will give him scoring line opportunities to further his offensive game, which he said he models after Chicago's Patrick Kane.
AHL Syracuse could be in the cards for Tammela after this coming season because he was drafted out of Finland and not the CHL. There is no AHL age restriction in that case. Technically, Masin could play in Syracuse this season because he was drafted out of the Czech Republic before coming to Peterborough last season. Each CHL team is allowed to dress two import players, and with Russian Artem Vladimirov returning home to the MHL, that opens up a spot for Tammela. It also indicates the Petes are expecting Masin to return to Ontario, since they passed on their second Import Draft selection.
Masin suffered significant facial injuries last winter and had surgery to repair an orbital bone. He is observing Lightning Development Camp this week. Tammela is participating in the camp.