VANCOUVER, B.C. — A pair of Waterloo Black Hawks were taken on day two of the NHL entry draft Saturday.
First off the board was Vladislav Firstov, who was taken in the second round, with the 42nd overall by the Minnesota Wild. Firstov’s selection marks the eighth consecutive year a skater from Waterloo has been chosen during or immediately following his Black Hawks’ career.
“Vladi has a lot of gifts,” Black Hawks head coach P.K. O’Handley said. “He grew a lot this season with our team on and off the ice. If that growth continues, there will be a lot of additional opportunities that unfold for him.”
The Yaroslavl, Russia native had a stellar first season with Waterloo scoring 26 goals and dishing out 32 assists in 62 games. He opened the season with foru multipoint games in his six first game, and he ended the season with five two-goal nights, six-game winning goals and a +11 plus/minus differential.
Among Black Hawks, Firstov ranked third in goals, assists and points.
With the 100th overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers took forward Matej Blumel in the fourth round.
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Blumel played two seasons with Waterloo, with his second seeing him score 30 points and dish out 30 assists in 58 games. Blumel had seven multi-goal games in 2018-19, including a hat trick against Central Illinois on Oct. 6.
“Matej’s time in Waterloo is a case study in patient development,” O’Handley said.
“He was able to grow considerably from his first season to this year, and he really had the opportunity to show what he could do while making an important contribution to our success.”
Blumel had eight goals and 10 assists in 50 games during his rookie season in 2017-18.
Like Firstov, Blumel is committed to Connecticut.