2021 CPL–U Sports Draft

The 2021 CPL–U Sports Draft was the third annual CPL–U Sports Draft. Eight Canadian Premier League (CPL) teams selected 16 eligible U Sports athletes in total when the draft was held on January 29, 2021.[1][2]

2021 CPL–U Sports Draft
General information
Date(s)January 29, 2021
Time3:00 PM ET
Network(s)OneSoccer, Twitter, YouTube
16 total selections in 2 rounds
LeagueCanadian Premier League
First selectionThomas Gardner, FC Edmonton
← 2019
2022 →


Each CPL team made two selection in the U Sports Draft. Players could be selected if they had years of U Sports eligibility remaining and had declared for the draft.[1] In 2021, a total of 48 athletes declared for the draft.[3]

The draft used a snake format with the order reversing directions between the two rounds. The selection order in the first round is the reverse of the previous season's standings.[4]

Player selectionEdit

* Denotes player who has signed a professional contract for the 2021 season
^ Denotes player who has signed a developmental contract for the 2021 season

Round 1Edit

Pick # CPL team Player Position Nationality University Last team/academy
1 FC Edmonton Thomas Gardner^ MF   Canada UBC TSS Rovers (USL2)
2 Atlético Ottawa Cristopher Malekos DF   Canada Carleton Ottawa South United (PLSQ)
3 Valour FC Yuba-Rayane Yesli GK   Algeria[a] Montréal CS Fabrose (PLSQ)
4 York United Christopher Campoli MF   Canada Ontario Tech Woodbridge Strikers (L1O)
5 Pacific FC Chris Lee^ DF   Canada UBC Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy
6 Cavalry FC Victor Loturi^ MF   Canada Mount Royal Cavalry FC (CPL)
7 HFX Wanderers Stefan Karajovanovic* FW   Canada Carleton Ottawa South United (PLSQ)
8 Forge FC Garven-Michée Metusala* DF   Canada Concordia AS Blainville (PLSQ)
  1. ^ Qualifies as a domestic player

Round 2Edit

Pick # CPL team Player Position Nationality University Last team/academy
9 Forge FC José da Cunha DF   Portugal Cape Breton   G.D. Estoril Praia B
10 HFX Wanderers Kareem Sow^ DF   Canada Montréal Montreal Impact Academy
11 Cavalry FC Ethan Keen DF   Canada Mount Royal Calgary Foothills (USL2)
12 Pacific FC Victory Shumbusho FW   DR Congo[a] UBC Victoria Highlanders (USL2)
13 York United Danial Rafisamii MF   Canada Ontario Tech Toronto Skillz FC (L1O)
14 Valour FC Tony Mikhael^ DF   Lebanon[a] Carleton Ottawa South United (L1O)
15 Atlético Ottawa Reggie Laryea DF   Canada York Sigma FC (L1O)
16 FC Edmonton Jackson Farmer DF   Canada UBC Calgary Foothills (USL2)


The following players signed development contracts with their respective CPL teams in 2020 and had U Sports eligibility remaining. Their CPL clubs chose to retain their rights for another year, exempting them from the draft.[4]

Drafted CPL team Player Position Nationality University
2019 (7th) Forge FC Gabriel Balbinotti FW   Canada UQTR
2019 (14th) HFX Wanderers Jake Ruby RB   Canada Trinity Western
  1. ^ a b Qualifies as a domestic player

Selection statisticsEdit

Draftees by nationalityEdit

Rank Country Selections
1   Canada 12
2   Algeria 1
  DR Congo 1
  Lebanon 1
  Portugal 1

Canadian draftees by provinceEdit

Rank Province Selections
1   Ontario 5[a]
2   Quebec 4[b]
3   Alberta 3
  British Columbia 3[c]
  1. ^ Mikhail's hometown is in Ontario, but represents Lebanon internationally
  2. ^ Yesli was born in Algeria, but resides in Quebec since his youth
  3. ^ Shumbusho was born in Congo, but resides in British Columbia since his youth

Draftees by universityEdit

Rank University Selections
1 UBC 4
2 Carlton University 3
3 Université de Montréal 2
Ontario Tech University
Mount Royal University
6 Concordia University 1
Cape Breton University
York University


  1. ^ a b "Canadian Premier League announces amended plans for 2020 CPL-U SPORTS Draft". Canadian Premier League. December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "FC Edmonton take UBC's Thomas Gardner 1st overall in CPL-U SPORTS Draft". Canadian Premier League. January 29, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  3. ^ "2021 CPL-U SPORTS Draft: The full prospect list". Canadian Premier League. January 26, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "2021 CPL-U SPORTS Draft to take place on January 29". Canadian Premier League. January 22, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2021.