CPL Rewind: Looking back at the 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft

HFX Wanderers FC became the first club to sign one of their 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft picks to a pro contract on Monday, announcing that first overall selection Cory Bent from Cape Breton University has been added to their roster for 2020.

Last season, 12 U SPORTS picks from the 2018 draft suited up for CPL outfits, with two — Peter Schaale and Christian Oxner — playing for HFX.

Last year’s draft went down in November in Montreal, just a week after Finals 2019. The CPL sides (of which there were only seven at the time) each had two picks, and the full draft was streamed live, hosted by’s Marty Thompson, Armen Bedakian, and Arcadio Marcuzzi.

RELATED READING: Cory Bent: ‘An overwhelming feeling of gratitude’ for signing with HFX was on the scene for the draft, plus the preceding U SPORTS men’s national championship, to provide all sorts of content on the players hoping to be drafted by a CPL club.

Now that one of them has been signed to a pro deal, we figured it’d be a good time to look back on everything we learned about the U SPORTS players back in November.

The full list of selections is available here. Besides that, though, here’s everything published for the 2019 draft.

Who to pick? CPL coaches predictably varied in draft-day philosophies

Every Canadian Premier League team entered the 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft with their own ideas, thoughts, and roster needs.

See, for every prolific goal-scorer, there’s a quiet, effective defender, putting in the work and impressing those who may be in the market for exactly that. As we approached the draft, enjoyed a few conversations with some CPL coaches, and, as predicted, the focus of their draft-day selections were as widely varied as the clubs themselves. || FULL STORY

‘Borges, Bustos are role models’: Cape Breton hopefuls dreaming of CPL spotlight watched live as the Cape Breton Capers took on the Calgary Dinos in a U SPORTS quarter-final, when Cory Bent and Charlie Waters put on a show to help them advance to the semis.

After the game, some of the team’s top talents revealed that they’d been keeping close tabs on the CPL in year one, suggesting that budding stars such as Tristan Borges and Marco Bustos were setting an example they’d like to emulate if they get a chance in the league. || FULL STORY

2019 CPL-U SPORTS Mock Draft

On the eve of the real event, sat down and ran a simulation of how the 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft might unfold. With the help of some U SPORTS experts and the CPL’s soccer operations department, we went through both rounds of the draft and tried to find the right players for each CPL club.

Looking back, it wasn’t terrible. Check out just how clairvoyant we were in our predictions, and where we went wildly wrong.  || FULL STORY

HFX picks Cory Bent 1st as Cape Breton shines in draft

The 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft in Montreal saw HFX Wanderers FC select winger Cory Bent first overall from Cape Breton University — the first of four players taken from the Capers in the draft. spoke to Bent, as well as HFX Wanderers coach Stephen Hart, for their immediate reactions. || FULL STORY

Which CPL club ‘won’ the 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft?

How do you know who “won” a draft?

 Well, unfortunately for observers of the Canadian Premier League, time is the key to finding that out. How many players will break out the same way some of last year’s picks did? Will there be a double-digit goalscorer like FC Edmonton’s Easton Ongaro?

Only time will tell. Until then,’s John Molinaro, Marty Thompson and Charlie O’Connor-Clarke predictions will have to stand. || FULL STORY

ANALYSIS: Winners, surprises, and shrewd selections of 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft

We went through each club, pick by pick, and broke down what their coach may have been thinking when making their selection. Which picks were easy wins? Which were surprising?

Did anyone go way off the board? We analyzed all 14 picks. || FULL STORY

Centre Circle LIVE! podcast: Draft recap, HFX pick Cory Bent & Canada vs. U.S. capped off the weekend with a podcast discussion to wrap up the draft. First overall pick Cory Bent joined the show to give his thoughts on the weekend that was, and look ahead to training camp. || FULL STORY