Import draft pick Martin Bodak signs with Kootenay Ice

Import draft pick Martin Bodak signs with Kootenay Ice

Experienced Slovak defenceman to join team for 2017-18 season, expected to provide big minutes

The Kootenay Ice announced on Thursday morning that one of their 2017 CHL import draft picks, Martin Bodak, has signed to play with the team next season.

The Ice selected the Slovak defenceman with their second pick, the 63rd overall selection, in late June.

“We look forward to Martin arriving in Ice country and contributing some meaningful minutes on our blueline this year,” said president and general manager Matt Cockell in a team release.

A 1998-born player, Bodak had seven goals and 22 points in 38 games with Tappara U20 in Finland’s Jr. A SM-Liiga last season. The 6’1”, 194-pound defender also played for Slovakia at the U20 World Junior Championships.

After the CHL Import Draft in June, Cockell told the Townsman that getting a player like Bodak had been a priority for the team.

“[Getting an experienced defenceman] was very important,” Cockell said. “He’s a guy that played overseas with older players, he’s played in the world juniors, [he’s] highly experienced and can play in all situations.

“It was really important for us to come away today with a forward and a defenceman that we can add to our group right away.”

In addition to Bodak, the Ice selected Swiss forward Gilian Kohler with their first pick, third overall, at the CHL Import Draft. Kohler has not officially signed with the team yet, but reports have indicated that he will also join the Ice for the 2017-18 season.

Bodak is currently taking part in Slovakia’s national team U20 summer camp before coming to Cranbrook for Ice training camp in late August.