The Kootenay Ice replenished their international stock Tuesday morning at the 2015 CHL Import Draft, selecting left winger Roman Dymacek (1997) and defenceman Mario Grman (1997).
“You always hope you do well in any draft, but this is a real tough draft to judge until you see the whites of their eyes, until you see them skate with their teammates, until you see them play in an actual exhibition game and regular season game,” said Jeff Chynoweth, Kootenay Ice president and general manager, on Tuesday afternoon. “Then you can start judging how successful or unsuccessful the draft was.”
Selected with the 35th pick at the draft, Dymacek — a 6-foot-1, 175-pound winger –spent the bulk of the 2014-15 season with HC Kometa Brno (U20) in the Czech Republic, tallying 15 goals and 31 points in 49 games.
The native of Hodonin, Czech Republic, was eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and though he went undrafted, was ranked 39th amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
“He’s a very good skater,” Chynoweth said of Dymacek. “He needs to put on some weight. We’ve got him listed at 175 pounds. He’s got to get stronger but that usually comes with age.
“He thinks the game fairly well. He keeps it simple.
“He can play at both ends of the ice…We’re hoping he can come in and be in our top nine.”
Dymacek has international experience already under his belt, having suited up for the Czech U18 national team at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, registering three goals in eight games.
While Dymacek comes to the Ice from abroad, the team’s second selection is more of a known commodity.
Grman, selected 95th at the import draft, toiled in the WHL’s Central Division with the Red Deer Rebels during the 2014-15 season, skating in 35 games and registering three assists.
“I really liked Mario, I watched him in the Tri-City tournament last year when Red Deer was there,” Chynoweth said. “I thought he played well. Unfortunately in his situation, Red Deer went out and got Nelson Nogier and Colton Bobyk. He just got moved down the pecking order.
“He battled through it…He competes hard. He skates well.”
Fans in Cranbrook might remember the hulking Slovak from when he fought Ice forward River Beattie when the Rebels visited Western Financial Place on March 6.
“He shows willingness to stick up for his teammates,” Chynoweth said. “I know he’s very excited. He was very well liked in the Red Deer Rebel dressing room.
“I’ve said many times over the years, you win in the Western Hockey League with quality 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds.”
Grman turned 18 on April 11.
The 6-foot-1, 187-pound defenceman also competed at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, skating in four games for the Slovakian U18 national squad.
A native of Topolcany, Slovakia, Grman was released by the Rebels on Sunday prior to the CHL Import Draft.
Brent Sutter, head coach and general manager of the Rebels, said he would consider bringing Grman back via the import draft, but opted to select right winger Michael Spacek (1997) instead.
Chynoweth said both Dmyacek and Grman will be in Cranbrook when Kootenay Ice training camp opens Aug. 30.