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Russian and Belarussian players to be eligible for CHL Import Draft

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The Canadian Hockey League will allow players from Russia and Belarus to be eligible for the 2024 CHL Import Draft, according to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger.

The CHL board of directors approved the decision on Thursday and an official announcement is expected to be made on Friday.

Russian and Belarusian players were excluded from the import draft in 2022 and 2023 in light Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In the 2021 CHL Import Draft, Russia was the most represented with 16 players drafted to CHL Teams, while Belarus had 11 players drafted.

The 2024 CHL Import Draft will take place on July 3.

Additionally, the league will not revisit the CHL Canada-Russia Series in the near future, according to Dreger.

The series featured an exhibition tournament that featured All-Atar teams from the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League taking on Russian selects.

The CHL Canada-Russia Series was established in 2003 and was played every year until it was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series was initially going to be rebooted for the 2022 season before it was cancelled due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.