The first F-Liiga draft in history took place in BlakBoks, Ideapark Lempäälä, Finland this Wednesday where 12 Finnish League teams over 3 rounds picked players to help their present and future.
The draft was announced back in November at the Men’s World Championships in Switzerland and the day had finally arrived for many young prospects and talents to wait and see if their name was to be called by one of the 12 F-Liiga clubs.
FBC Turku had the historic 1st overall pick and chose Krisjanis Tiltins from Latvia who most recently played for Koovee in the Finnish 2nd division (Inssi-Divari)
Other highlights from the first round include EraViikingit selecting talented Czech forward Simon Stransky 2nd overall who was at the draft itself to wear his new jersey and meet the team staff. Stransky comes from the Czech Superleague where he last played for FBS Bohemians. Fellow Czech Martin Hanousek was also present to join his new side Jymy with the 3rd overall pick. Hanousek was greeted by new teammate and fellow goalkeeper Aki Karjalainen which should prove to be a dangerous and promising goalie tandem for many years to come for Jymy. In total 6 of the 12 first round picks were Czechs in a strong showing for a nation with incredibly promising young players.
1. FBC Turku: Krisjanis Tiltins, Latvia
2. EräViikingit: Simon Stransky, Czechia
3. Jymy: Martin Hanousek, Czechia
4. LASB: Oskars Tutans, Latvia
5. OLS: Yannic Fitzi, Switzerland
6. Indians: Lukas Puncochar, Czechia
7. SPV: Gabriel Kohonen, Sweden
8. Classic: Adam Hemerka, Czechia
9. Happee: Sakarias Ulriksson, Sweden
10. Oilers: Filip Forman, Czechia
11. Nokian KrP: Matej Havlas, Czechia
12. TPS: Arvid Äse, Sweden
The 2nd round began with FBC Turku picking another Latvian in Edijs Senbergs with highly rated talents such as Jakob Heins from Germany, Pascal Schmuki from Switzerland and Filip Langer from Czechia all being taken in the 2nd round. There were very obvious decisions to be made from the clubs drafting about whether to pick players who were already under contract at other clubs or not. Some went for the high risk, high reward option in order to secure signing rights to a certain player if they were to come and play in Finland, a decision that might come to be extremely fruitful in the future. Others opted to draft players who were eligible and wanting to come play from the moment they were picked in order to see a direct impact. This was more apparent in the teams lower down the standings and who picked closer to the beginning of each round.
13. FBC Turku: Edijs Senbergs, Latvia
14. EräViikingit: Matej Penicka, Czechia
15. Jymy: Ferdinand Ondruschka, Germany
16. LASB: Pascal Schmuki, Switzerland
17. OLS: Pablo Mariotti, Switzerland
18. Indians: Jakub Bursik, Czechia
19. SPV: Klavs Araks, Latvia
20. Classic: Filip Langer, Czechia
21. Happee: Noel Seiler, Switzerland
22. Oilers: Jakob Heins, Germany
23. Nokian KrP: Tomas Jurco, Czechia
24. TPS: Willy Sedin, Sweden
The 3rd round showed us some more of the international talents growing in the world of floorball. In particular Tinius Waerstadt the recent U19 WFC record holder for most assists in a tournament being selected by OLS. Classic chose Philippine forward Kim Varga with the 32nd pick with Varga making history as the first player from the AOFC region to be picked in a F Liiga draft. Varga was closely followed by Australian goalkeeper Edwin Perry at 35 to Nokian KRP. Tomas Kvasnica was also the first Slovak to be selected in the draft at 33 to Happee, with 7 different countries being represented in the third round of the draft alone!
25. FBC Turku: Ricards Riba, Latvia
26. EräViikingit: Ernest Ronis, Latvia
27. Jymy: Ondrej Papousek, Czechia
28. LASB: Elia Seiler, Switzerland
29. OLS: Tinius Waerstadt, Norway
30. Indians: Matiss Morozovs, Latvia
31. SPV: Daniel Chatrny, Czechia
32. Classic: Kim Varga, Philippines
33. Happee: Tomas Kvasnica, Slovakia
34. Oilers: Ondrej Zlesak, Czechia
35. Nokian KrP: Edwin Perry, Australia
36. TPS: Kevins Smits, Latvia
Overall it was a great first edition of the F-Liiga draft providing a new and exciting element to the European Floorball scene and hopefully providing further opportunities and chances for foreign players to thrive and excel in one of the best floorball leagues in the world.
In total 9 different countries had a player picked in the draft with the Czech Republic being the best represented with a total of 13 of the 36 picks being Czech players. Latvia came a close 2nd with 8 picks followed by Switzerland with 5 and Sweden with 4 players.
For more information check out the F Liiga draft website here:
Next year will see the turn of the Women as the Women’s F-Liiga have their first Draft in 2024.