Impressive Euro show

SCOTT FISHER, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

The Mystery Men made their first appearance with the Calgary Hitmen yesterday.

GM/head coach Kelly Kisio knew what to expect from every player as main camp kicked off yesterday.

Every player except the club's two European imports.

Kisio took the word of overseas scouts when he drafted Slovenian Bostjan Golicic (40th overall) and Slovakian Martin Stepan (65th) two months ago.

But he had no idea what he was getting until yesterday.

"I think they'll be pretty good," he said after watching the imports skate for the first time. "They're just finding their way right now and they'll get better and better as they get used to the guys."

Golicic was dominant at times during yesterday's scrimmages, scoring a pair of goals, including a highlight-reel beauty.

"It was great," said Golicic, who speaks English quite well. "We played well and won both games. It was very exciting."

He said he has enjoyed the week he has spent in the Stampede City.

"It's a very big city. I'm very excited to be here because it's a great organization and will be good for me to develop into a better player."

Golicic appears capable of putting up the type of numbers Swede Freddie Pettersson did as a rookie two years ago (22 goals and 43 points).

"I don't know," Kisio said when asked if Golicic could replace Pettersson's production. "It's tough to tell right now. It sure would be nice if he could put up those numbers as an 18-year-old.

"It would sure help us."

Golicic, 18, scored 20 goals and 32 points in 19 games in the Slovenian junior league last season.

Kisio said the pair will add some top-level skill to a team that is expected to challenge for the Central Division crown.

"They both seem to be smart players and their puck skills are good," he said.

Golicic has had no trouble communicating with his coaches and teammates. Stepan, on the other hand, must also adjust to a new language as he gets accustomed to his new surroundings.

"Golicic speaks very good English, but Martin doesn't speak well," Kisio said. "But Golicic can communicate with Stepan."

Not that easily, though.

"I maybe understand every fifth word or something," he said. "He's speaking Slovakian and we have similar (Slovenian) words. But it's not that similar."

Hitmen fans can get a look at the two newcomers today at the annual Black/White game (1 p.m. at the Don Hartman N.E. Sportsplex).

The Hitmen have just over 40 players remaining in camp.


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