HFX Wanderers FC has signed 2021 CPL-U SPORTS Draft pick Stefan Karajovanovic to a standard player contract for the upcoming CPL season with a club option in 2022. The 22-year-old forward from Gatineau, Que. scored 35 goals in 37 games with Ottawa’s Carleton Ravens in a three-year span shortened in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. The dynamic forward has also featured for PLSQ champions AS Blainville – including in the Canadian Championship. Karajovanovic was previously drafted by York United (then York9 FC) in 2019 only to be plucked 7th overall in this past January's selection.
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"He's a dynamic in-the-box type of striker, very similar to Akeem Garcia in his qualities, likes to get in behind, makes good runs and movement and he’s two-footed, so he gives us a little bit of extra depth up top," Wanderers coach Stephen Hart said. "He had been in training with us all along and he kind of got stuck here, so he decided to stick it out and we're going to be announcing him pretty soon." Karajovanovic is the sixth CPL-U SPORTS Draft pick signed by the Wanderers to either a full-time or developmental contract, joining current standouts Christian Oxner, Peter Schaale, Cory Bent, and Jake Ruby as draftees who have made an impact in Halifax. The CPL-U SPORTS Draft, which started in 2018, has brought over a dozen university athletes to the CPL. Drafted players can sign a U SPORTS Developmental Contract, which allows players to retain their eligibility and return to school in the fall, or a standard player contract, which Karajovanovic did. Thursday’s signing brings the Wanderers to 19 players confirmed for the 2021 CPL season, which is set to start in Winnipeg, Manitoba with “The Kickoff” presented by Volkswagen. Halifax will open the season on Saturday, June 26 against Pacific FC (5pm ET/6pm AT) on OneSoccer.