The Canadian Premier League (CPL) has announced that it is going to stage the third installment of the CPL-U SPORTS Draft in January.
According to the CPL, the draft is scheduled to be host in mid or late January, 2021, with an exact date to be announced in the upcoming days. This year’s draft has been postponed because of the cancellation of the 2020 U SPORTS Men’s Soccer Championship as well as the Canadian university season via each of its four member conferences, which was forced by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The CPL-U SPORTS Draft will include two rounds. There will be eight picks in each round and each club will make two selections. All of the 16 draftees will be invited to the pre-season training camp of their club prior to the 2021 CPL campaign.
Drafted players are also allowed to sign a U SPORTS Developmental Contract, which gives a student-athlete with one to five years of U SPORTS eligibility remaining the opportunity to sign with a CPL team, at the same time preserving their eligibility before coming back to U SPORTS competition. Those underclassmen can then sign a full-time pro player contract with their club after graduating.
U SPORTS men’s soccer student-athletes having registered and declared themselves available to be picked are eligible for this draft, which is open to any eligible underclassmen who register for it, too.
Indeed, at the previous two CPL-U SPORTS Drafts, teams have found great, young talent since 12 former picks made at least one appearance during the recent season at The Island Games in PEI.
Other outstanding draft picks over the past two seasons who have made an impact in the CPL are Pacific FC’s Zach Verhoven (2018, ninth overall), FC Edmonton’s Connor James (2018, seventh overall), and Valour FC’s Dylan Carreiro (2018, second overall.
HFX goalkeeper Christian Oxner, FC Edmonton forward Easton Ongaro, and former Cavalry FC defender Joel Waterman also came out of the CPL-U SPORTS Draft in 2018.