Three York Lions selected in 2019 CFL draft

York University Lions football players Nikola Kalinic, Jacob Janke and Colton Hunchak had their names called earlier this month when they were each selected in the 2019 Canadian Football League (CFL) entry draft.

Kalinic was selected by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the second round, 10th overall; Janke was tabbed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the fourth round, 35th overall; and Hunchak was selected by his hometown Calgary Stampeders in the eighth round, 73rd overall.

In 2018, Kalinic – a 6-foot-4, 245-pound fullback/tight end – became the first York Lions player in team history to be named to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) all-star team twice in one season. The Toronto native was named an OUA first-team all-star for both offence and special teams, after being named an offensive second-team all-star in 2017. Kalinic has caught 38 passes for 416 yards and two touchdowns in his four-year career and has been making waves on both sides of the border. In addition to attending the CFL National Combine in March, he was also on the Washington Redskins draft board, visiting the team twice to be evaluated.

Janke, a native of Edmonton, was finally able to prove he is one of the top defensive players in the OUA this year after missing most of the previous two seasons with injuries. He returned to full health to play a full eight games and led the team with 47.5 tackles, which ranked him ninth overall in the OUA. He also had three tackles for a loss and broke up three passes. Janke has also represented Canada on two occasions, competing the U19 International Bowl in both 2015 and 2016.

Hunchak, from Calgary, has spent his four years at York etching his name into the school’s history books. In the 2018 season he became the team’s career leader in receptions with 162, and he currently ranks second all-time in reception yards (1882) and touchdown receptions (17). He’s coming off a season where he was named an OUA second-team all-star for the second time, and despite missing one game due to injury, he ranked fourth in the OUA with 58 receptions, eighth in receiving yards with 610 and tied for third in touchdown receptions with six.

The three Lions add to a growing list of Lions drafted by CFL teams in recent years, as offensive linemen Chris Smith (2018, Saskatchewan), Jamal Campbell (2016, Toronto), Chris Kolankowski (2016, Toronto) and James Tuck (2014, Montreal) were each drafted in the past number of years.