Schaber's camp debut off-colour

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:22 AM ET

The kid looks good -but not great.

It's those socks.

Chase Schaber, selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the first round of the bantam draft last May, made his debut at rookie camp yesterday -- wearing Red Deer Rebels colours.

Hitmen GM/head coach Kelly Kisio noticed the wardrobe malfunction.

"Yeah, we've gotta get those things outta here," Kisio kidded.

Schaber can probably be forgiven for the fashion faux pas.

After all, the Red Deer product will be playing for the Rebels AAA midget team this year.

The 5-ft. 10-in., 165-pounder said he had no problem pulling on a Hitmen jersey despite growing up in hostile territory.

"It was awesome," he said of the draft in which he went 20th overall. "I felt great.

"I was expecting to go in the first round and this was the perfect place to be. It's close to home and it's an awesome organization."

Schaber put up 35 goals and 59 points last season with the Rebels AAA bantam squad.

He'll look to further develop his game in the midget ranks this year but, first, he'll get a taste of the WHL in camp and exhibition.

"I'm really excited," he said. "I trained hard all summer.

"I just have to relax a little more. I came in here a little nervous."

Kisio said he was pleased with what he saw from the 15-year-old yesterday.

"He's feeling his way through it a little bit.

"I'd like him to play centre but he's playing left wing here.

"At the end of the day, I think he'd be best-suited at centre."

TRICK PLAY: Ian Schultz, younger brother of former Hitmen d-man Jeff, made a major impact yesterday.

Schultz, a second-round pick in the '05 bantam draft, scored a hat-trick and added a pair of assists in leading his team to a 6-4 rookie-camp victory.

BACKUP BATTLE: Daniel Spence will likely nail down the starting goaltender's spot.

But the battle for the backup position will be an interesting one with highly-touted freshmen Marty Jones and Garrett Zemlak pegged as the frontrunners.

Jones (Vancouver North West Giants) was recently named to B.C.'s Under-17 team that will compete at the 2007 Canada Winter Games.

Zemlak led the Saskatoon Contacts to a silver medal at last year's Mac's tournament and was named the tourney's top 'tender.

Both Jones and Zemlak will report with the veterans Sunday afternoon.


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