Hitmen succeed in Chase for pick

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

The Calgary Hitmen got their man and maybe robbed the Red Deer Rebels of a homegrown player in the process.

In yesterday's WHL bantam draft, the Hitmen took Chase Schaber, who hails from Red Deer, with the 20th overall pick in the first round and were more than happy the 15-year-old was still available when their selection came along.

"He was the guy that we wanted to be there and we thought he might have slipped a little earlier in the draft but we were happy to get him when we did," said assistant GM Blaine Forsythe.

Schaber, a 5-ft. 10-in., 165-lb. left-winger, played last season with the bantam Red Deer Rebels and collected 59 points (35g, 24a) in 34 games.

"He was one of the higher-rated prospects in Central Alberta and he's almost a Sutter-type player with his work ethic, so I think the Rebels were hoping he would have been there but we weren't going to let that happen," said Forsythe with a chuckle.

Schaber was over the moon yesterday when his school principal, who was tracking the draft on the Internet, rushed into class.

"I think they're a top-notch organization. I've heard they've got great coaching and great players all around," said Schaber, who won't be eligible to play full-time in the WHL until the 2007-08 season.

The Spokane Chiefs took defenceman Jared Cowen with the first pick.


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