The Kingston Frontenacs and Sarina Sting had eyes on some international players this week, with the Frontenacs adding a goalie who already has CHL experience. Meanwhile, the Peterborough Petes inked a highly-touted ’06 forward our scouts like a lot, and the Soo Greyhounds signed a goaltender they took in the second round.
The Frontenacs signed Zhigalov, a native of Belarus, after he spent one season in the QMJHL last year. He was selected by Kingston in the 2022 CHL Import Draft. He’s a 6-foot-3 goalie who posted an .892 save percentage last season. We had Zhigalov as a “C” prospect for the 2022 NHL Draft (he went undrafted).
“We are excited to have Ivan join our organization,” claimed General Manager, Kory Cooper. “He is an extremely talented goaltender, with great size and a high compete level. He joins the Frontenacs with Canadian Hockey League experience. We believe with his work ethic and tools, he’ll be able to have a tremendous year for our hockey club. We’re looking forward to working with Ivan and continuing his development.”
NZ Scouts: “Zhigalov plays with a lot of energy in the crease and does a good job controlling his depth, taking a couple extra inches when he has time to challenge more. In general, he is a strong irst save goaltender who will stop the first shot when he can see it clearly.”
McCallum is a significant signing for Peterborough. We had McCallum ranked as the No. 30 player entering the OHL Draft and he fell to the No. 69 spot. In 27 games last season for Brantford he had 48 points (22g, 26a).
“Over the course of last season leading up to the draft, his skills and level of compete, game in and game out, were noticeable,” said Petes GM Michael Oke.
NZ Scouts: “Plays the game at a high pace. The best player on the ice on this night. Strong, long stride combined with a keen sense of reading the play gets McCallum where he needs to be in a hurry. His transition skating is exceptional . . . he can change direction quickly, almost effortlessly, without losing speed. This gives him an advantage in offensive transition situations. McCallum was an offensive threat throughout this game but his presence became more noticeable as the game wound down and Brantford attempted to tie the score.”
We had Miller ranked No. 101 in our OHL Draft rankings. The Greyhounds took Miller in the second round of the draft.
“We are very excited to have Landon make his commitment to our program,” said Soo GM Kyle Raftis. “Landon had an extremely successful year with the Vaughn Kings where he was tested nightly. He possesses great athletic ability which allows him to move calmly and efficiently around the crease”
NZ Scouts: “This big butterfly goaltender had an excellent tournament in Whitby and was a key factor in Vaughan’s run to the quarter-finals. Miller gave his team a chance to win in each of his starts and was very good in a loss to tournament champs – Toronto Jr Canadiens – in the quarter-finals. Miller was very active in his net with his butterfly and was quick to reset and get to a balanced position for second chance opportunities. He made several quality saves and controlled his rebounds effectively. In games with heavy traffic, he is big enough to see through screens and competes hard to see the puck.”
This was one of two import signings for the Sting, who signed both import picks. In 42 games for Orebro’s J20 team last season he had 37 points (13g, 24a). He was selected with the No. 99 pick in the 2021 Import Draft.
“Marcus is a player we liked heading into the Import Draft a year ago,” said Sarina GM Dylan Seca. “We saw him play with Sweden in a U17 event and he was one of the top players on his team. He is a smart center, good puck distributor, great skater and a player we believe has tremendous upside. We want to welcome Marcus and his family to the Sarnia Sting.”
Vilmanis was Sarina’s first-round pick in the 2022 CHL Import Draft and then one week later he was selected by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round of the 2022 NHL Draft. In 40 games for Lulea he finished with 18 goals and 14 assists.
“Sandis is a player who caught our eye early this season,” Seca said. “He was in a strong league and recorded excellent numbers. We really like his combination of skill and size, not to mention he’s got a scoring touch to complement both. We’re thrilled he’s coming to Sarnia and expect him to arrive shortly after the Summer World Junior tournament where he will be competing for Latvia.”