Fronts draft first Swiss player in team history

The Kingston Frontenacs, for the first time in franchise history, will have a dash of Swiss in their lineup.

Forward Ian Derungs of Switzerland was picked by the Ontario Hockey League team in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft conducted online Thursday morning.

The five-foot-seven, 154-pound Derungs, an 18-year-old from Frauenfeld, a town of 25,000 in the northern region of Switzerland, fits the Frontenacs’ needs for next season, general manager Darren Keily said.

“His experience and his character are going to be huge for us this coming season,” Keily said. “He’s a pretty good player. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he competes like crazy, can skate and do all the little things we are going to be looking for.”

It is the first CHL Import Draft since 2011 that the Frontenacs have not selected players from Finland.

The original two Finns picked were Mikko Vainonen and Henri Ikonen in 2012, and the last two over that five-year stretch were Eemeli Rasanen and Linus Nyman, both of whom have signed pro contracts to play in Finland this coming season.

Keily said there was no real reason why the team went away from Finnish players this time.

“Other connections that we have had in the past maybe didn’t have the right fit for us,” Keily said. “We felt [Derungs] is the right fit for us this year. We are looking forward to having him here in Kingston.”

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