2024 CPL-U SPORTS Draft: Team-by-team breakdown of all 16 picks

This year’s CPL-U SPORTS Draft saw 16 new names enter the ranks of clubs across the league, with several teams attaching, or sticking, to a common theme.

Here’s the full breakdown of all eight Canadian Premier League clubs and how they fared on draft day, in case you missed it.

RELATED: WATCH: 2024 CPL-U SPORTS Draft presented by Degree


1st Round Pick (1st overall): Owen Sheppard

HOMETOWN: St. John’s, Nfld.
SCHOOL: Cape Breton University
AGE: 21

2nd Round Pick (9th overall): Frank Facchineri

HOMETOWN: Windsor, Ont.
SCHOOL: University of Windsor
POSITION: Defender
AGE: 21

Having scored the least goals in the league last season, Valour’s first overall selection of Cape Breton University’s Owen Sheppard makes plenty of sense. While Sheppard only started two of CBU’s 12 season matches, the forward made his biggest impression at the U SPORTS national championship. After scoring twice in regulation in the quarter-final, Sheppard netted the game-winner in the Capers’ 1-0 semifinal win on their way to the title.

Valour’s second pick shows their interest in players with significant CPL experience with defender Frank Facchineri joining the club. The Windsor, Ont. native has already made four CPL appearances with Atlético Ottawa in 2020 on loan from the MLS’ Vancouver Whitecaps.

Both players sharing the same age at 21 years old, the Winnipeg side gave themselves a mix of experience and development opportunity as they look to rebound this upcoming season.


1st Round Pick (2nd overall): Luke Norman

HOMETOWN: Vancouver, B.C.
SCHOOL: University of British Columbia
POSITION: Central Midfielder
AGE: 19

2nd Round Pick (15th overall): Thomas Powell

HOMETOWN: Coquitlam, B.C.
SCHOOL: Trinity Western University
POSITION: Central Midfielder
AGE: 22

Vancouver FC and manager Afshin Ghotbi have made clear their intent to develop home-grown talent from across British Columbia, and their two picks follow that trend. A club hard-set on developing youth into life-long professionals, their first-round pick of 19-year-old midfielder Luke Norman gives them plenty of opportunity to do so.

Norman, a Vancouver native, played a combined 20 matches for the University of British Columbia this past season, scoring six times and assisting six others. Norman is clearly comfortable in the offensive end and listed at six-feet-tall also has the length to put in a tackle when tracking back.

Central midfield was clearly an area of concern for the side as they doubled up on that area in the second round with 22-year-old Coquitlam, B.C. native Thomas Powell. Powell shows lots of similarities to Norman, netting four goals and adding four assists in just 16 matches for Trinity Western in 2023.

Two players that emphasize their abilities going forward, Vancouver FC appear to be looking to improve on their combined tally of three assists from deep-lying midfield positions.


1st Round Pick (3rd overall): Luca Piccioli

HOMETOWN: Ottawa, Ont.
SCHOOL: Carleton University
POSITION: Central Midfielder
AGE: 24 

2nd Round Pick (11th overall): Samuel LaPlante

HOMETOWN: Sainte-Julie, Que.
SCHOOL: Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
POSITION: Left-back
AGE: 24 

Atlético Ottawa took an experience and maturity-based approach this year, drafting the two oldest players by a significant margin in this year’s U SPORTS draft.

Luca Piccioli is an Ottawa native who, although being listed as a forward on the OUA website, sees himself as a competitive box-to-box midfielder and could look to learn from veteran Alberto Zapater while competing to take over his position on the pitch.

A team that notably runs a three-back system most of the time, their second-round pick of Samuel Laplante appears to be a style-based selection. Drafted in 2022 by Valour FC, Laplante returned to UQTR for the 2023 season, where he recorded two assists in nine games from the left side of defence.


1st Round Pick (4th overall): Christian Zeppieri

HOMETOWN: Maple, Ont.
SCHOOL: York University
POSITION: Central Midfielder
AGE: 20

2nd Round Pick (12th overall): Jason Hartill

HOMETOWN: Carleton Place, Ont.
SCHOOL: Cape Breton University
POSITION: Central Midfielder
AGE: 19

York United also planted their focus on the centre of the pitch, drafting two young Ontario-born midfielders, who have both spent time in the Toronto FC academy. Whether or not the academy similarity was intended or a fluke, it shows a good mix of professional experience and youth in their games.

Both picks describe themselves as box to box with no real emphasis on either side of the ball, but second round pick Jason Hartill from the national champion Cape Breton Capers has shown the ability to play multiple positions on the pitch.

First round pick Christian Zeppieri has the luxury of not having to move too far having represented York University this past season.

Zeppieri highlighting his aggression and Hartill making his versatility known, York’s picks could provide immediate depth.


1st Round Pick (5th overall): Daniel Clarke

HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ont.
SCHOOL: Cape Breton University
POSITION: Goalkeeper
AGE: 20

2nd Round Pick (13th overall): Max Bodurtha

HOMETOWN: Halifax, N.S.
SCHOOL: St. Francis Xavier University
POSITION: Centre-back
AGE: 20

Halifax’s scouting did not need to look far for their 2023 picks, with a clear focus on defense and Nova Scotia based talent.

While Daniel Clarke once considered Milton Keynes, United Kingdom his home, he has spent the last few years of his footballing career in Cape Breton engraving his name as a champion with the school. A tall goalkeeper and only 20 years old, Clarke started in ten matches and only allowed ten goals while making 42 saves along the way.

Their second-round pick further represents their local approach to finding players, taking physical centre back and Halifax native Max Bodurtha.

Bodurtha has played both in midfield and defence and looks to his time as a defensive midfielder as an important factor in his ability to control the game from the backline, an important factor when you consider Halifax’s frequent change of formation this past campaign.


1st Round Pick (6th overall): Michael Maslanka

HOMETOWN: Mississauga, Ont.
SCHOOL: University of Toronto
AGE: 18

2nd Round Pick (14th overall): Ibrahem Saadi

HOMETOWN: London, Ont.
SCHOOL: Western University
POSITION: Centre-back
AGE: 19

Pacific FC appear comfortable with making investments for the future, drafting an 18-year-old striker with their first-round pick, and gaining some security in defence with their second round selection.

Having scored the second most goals in the league last year, attack didn’t seem an area of concern for Pacific, but Maslanka’s proficiency in front of goal was clearly too much to turn down for the B.C. side. Named OUA East rookie of the year, first team all-star, and U SPORTS all-rookie, the Mississauga native led the University of Toronto with seven regular season goals, adding three goal contributions in the playoffs.

Bringing another Ontario native out west, Pacific’s second pick Ibrahem Saadi shows a pattern in their scouting, having been named OUA West Rookie of the Year, a first team all-star, and another member of the OUA All-Rookie team.


1st Round Pick (7th overall): Caden Rogozinski

HOMETOWN: Calgary, Alta.
SCHOOL: Mount Royal University
POSITION: Centre-back
AGE: 21

2nd Round Pick (10th overall): Rodane Cato

HOMETOWN: Edmonton, Alta.
SCHOOL: University of Alberta
POSITION: Central Midfielder
AGE: 21

Cavalry FC has loved to draft locally in recent years and this year proves no different. A clear emphasis on developing Alberta’s plentiful talent, Cavalry’s first pick gets to continue his stay in his hometown of Calgary.

Rogozinski, the Mount Royal University captain, earned Canada West and U SPORTS First Team All-Star recognition on route to a Canada West championship. At 21 years old, the Calgary native already has the physical presence to succeed in a higher league, such as the CPL. With Cavalry occasionally running a three-back formation, the youngster could provide some depth to a team who will have some extra games to worry about this upcoming season.

Their second pick continues the same trend, Alberta-born talent from one of their local universities. A team that commonly enjoys enrolling a deep-lying midfielder in their lineup, Cato certainly makes sense as one for the future. The 20-year-old feels he exceeds most in a defensive midfield role due to his ability to maintain the ball after his tackles, an important factor in a Tommy Wheeldon Jr. system that sees his team commonly have much of the ball.


1st Round Pick (8th overall): Mouhamed Ndiaye

HOMETOWN: Trois-Rivières, Que.
SCHOOL: Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
POSITION: Central Midfielder
AGE: 20

2nd Round Pick (16th overall): Amadou Koné

HOMETOWN: Ottawa, Ont.
SCHOOL: Carleton University
POSITION: Wide Midfielder
AGE: 18

Forge has the advantage of being in a unique situation due to the diversity of their squad. While it doesn’t appear on the surface that they stayed local or built into their locker room, the Hamilton-based side has developed a habit of looking into Québec for their talent. Drafting Terrebonne, Que.’s Garven Metusala in 2021, as well as having the likes of Khadim Kane, Woobens Pacius, David Choinière and Aboubacar Sissoko in their locker room, Forge are no strangers to Québecois-born players.

That’s where Trois-Rivières Que.’s Mouhamed Ndiaye comes in. The creative midfielder has an excellent first step that allows him to separate himself from his opponents with the ball at his feet and could be seen as another option for Forge’s attacking midfield position.

Their second-round pick in Amadou Kone is a very fun one, a speedy winger who loves to take players on. With the likes of Kwasi Poku, Tristan Borges, and Sissoko commonly providing the team’s width last season, it will be interesting to see if Kone is able to slot his name into that mix at only 18 years old.