CHL set to place ban on import goalies

Andrey Makarov, who hails from Russia, was the starting goaltender for the Saskatoon Blades this season..

It appears the Canadian Hockey League is serious about the development of Canadian goaltenders.

The CHL will only allow teams to select goalies in the first round (60 teams) of the upcoming import draft and plan to ban goalies in the import draft starting as soon as next season, Sportsnet’s Daren Millard reported Monday night.

According to Damien Cox of the Toronto Star, the change was officially announced Monday night.

Other non-Canadian goalies in the league will be able to play out the rest of their junior eligibility.

CHL teams will still be able to use two roster spots on imports but those players will not allowed to be goaltenders.

Cox reported last month that CHL commissioner David Branch met with Hockey Canada to discuss the possibility of banning European goalies.

“The CHL has had discussions in a broader sense with Hockey Canada,” Branch told the Toronto Star. “One of the ideas put forward was eliminating goalies from the annual import draft to allow more focus on North American goalies.

Branch is said to be worried about the lack of Canadian goalies succeeding at the pro level and across the CHL.

Many have already expressed their concern at the position heading into Sochi 2014.

The top three Vezina Trophy finalists did not include any Canadians and a Canadian goalie has not been the first netminder selected in the NHL Draft since 2008 when the Nashville Predators chose Chet Pickard No. 18 overall.

In last year’s NHL Draft, only 11 of the 24 goalies selected hailed from Canada.

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