Hitmen high on Rowinski

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Brendon Rowinski was glued to his computer yesterday morning.

As one of the top-ranked bantam hockey players in Western Canada, the 14-year-old was following the WHL draft with keen interest.

The Winnipeg teen said he was ecstatic when he saw the Calgary Hitmen had drafted him in the first round, 13th overall.

"I found out right when they drafted me, I was watching the Internet," Rowinski said.

"It's unbelievable. The Hitmen were my first choice.

"I watched Calgary on TV during the playoffs and I thought it would be a great city to play in."

The skilled centre scored 28 goals and 54 points with the Manitoba champion Winnipeg Hawks triple-A bantam club this past season.

Hitmen head scout Brad Whelen said the 5-ft. 10-in. 160-pounder could be an offensive force in a couple of years.

"We had him very high on our list," Whelen said.

"He's not overly big right now but we think he'll add some size. It was the skill and character we were interested in.

"He's willing to pay the price to go to the net and we think he can score some points for us down the line."

Rowinski won't be eligible to play in the WHL until 2006-07. And the level-headed youngster said he'll use his time over the next year wisely.

"I think I have to improve every aspect of my game," said Rowinski, who will likely play with the Winnipeg Thrashers triple-A midget squad next season.

"I have to try to get stronger, put on some weight. I want to be a better overall athlete."

The Regina Pats continued their rebuilding process yesterday by selecting smooth-skating defenceman Colten Teubert first overall. Pats GM Brent Parker couldn't wipe the smile off his face after adding the top bantam prospect to his list.

"We're thrilled," Parker said. "He's a big-time player."

Teubert has been compared to a young Chris Pronger. But Parker sees his prospect as the next Braydon Coburn, who was selected first overall by Portland in 2000.

"He's got the skating ability and he's got the shot," Parker said. "There's a lot of things he does extremely well.

"If he turns out to be half as good as either one of those two, we'll be very happy."

The White Rock, B.C., product was on hand at the 'Dome to hear his name called.

"I'm really excited to be part of the Regina Pats," Teubert said. "It's a great moment and I'm going to cherish it for a long time.

"Hopefully, I can bring the fans back to the stadium there and get some wins."

Swift Current chose Abbotsford winger Geordie Wudrick second overall, while Prince George used the third pick to take Sanford, Man., forward Dale Hunt.

Defenceman Tyler Myers was the only Calgarian taken in the opening round, going to the Kelowna Rockets.

The Hitmen grabbed Ian Schultz, younger brother of current blueliner Jeff, with its second-round pick (33rd overall) and defenceman Josh Martin in the third round (53rd overall).

NEWEST HITMEN: The Hitmen selected D Michael Stone (6-ft. 165-lb., Winnipeg) and G Martin Jones (5-ft. 10-in., 165-lb., Vancouver) in the fourth round with the 73rd and 74th picks overall. Other picks included RW Roy Farrer (5th round, Notre Dame), C Devon Kalinski (104th, La Corey, Alta.), D Josh Lee (132nd, Edmonton), RW Ryan Fox (133rd, Creighton, Sask.), D Brandon Nadolny (173rd, Abbotsford) and LW Taylor Gal (193rd, Lethbridge).


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