Agent Dan Milstein does not support CHL banning Russians, Belarusians

Team Red and Team White logos are shown following the CHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton, Ont. on January 16, 2020. (Peter Power/CP)

Ukrainian born NHL player agent Dan Milstein does not support a potential CHL import draft ban on Russian or Belarusian players.

Milstein, who represents Tampa Bay Lightning stars Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy of Russia, tweeted on Wednesday that the CHL was going to make 16- and 17-year-old Russian and Belarusian players ineligible to be picked in the import draft this spring. However, the league has not officially gone down that route yet.

"I don't support the war just to be clear, my home - my childhood home where I grew up and lived the first 16 years of my life is being bombed right now, my close friends are being killed," said Milstein on The FAN Drive Time on Thursday.

"I don't think any of the Russian hockey players who are here in the National Hockey League support the war, as a matter of fact they all want peace, but guys - stop punishing 15, 16 and 17 year old kids that have nothing to do with this war."

The IIHF has already announced the suspension of all Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs at every age category, including six competitions that would run through September 2022, as well as withdrawing the hosting rights of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship from Russia.

Hockey Canada has also announced they would also not play any teams from Russia and Belarus in events that are not sanctioned by the IIHF.

The decision from the CHL would not impact players currently in the league who are currently imports from Russia and Belarus, but would affect any incoming draftees.

"You in Toronto have a player that everyone loves by the name of Ilya Mikheyev, in Tampa everybody likes Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy, in Calgary there's Nikita Nesterov and the list goes on and on and on," said Milstein.

"They're players you cheered on and you loved and now they're getting death threats and people don't want them to be here."

Other sports federations like FIFA and the UEFA Champions League have also removed participation and hosting rights from Russia and Belarus in response to the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

"Do you really think that they ever want those players to leave the country in the first place? No, do you know what kind of a struggle it is to be an agent and constantly trying to convince the guys to come here and play in North America?" said Milstein.

"Is there any justice? The only people who get affected by this are those 15 and 16-year-olds."

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