In Karl Alzner and Keith Seabrook, the Calgary Hitmen have a good chunk of the Washington Capitals' future defence crops.
While Alzner is toiling with Canada's junior team against Russia in the overhyped Super Series, Seabrook is heading to D.C. today for training camp with the Caps, knowing he's eventually going to be playing for a good, young NHL club.
"There's a lot of young talent, and it makes it more fun to be around the guys, so camp's going to be a battle, but it should be fun," said the 19-year-old from Delta, B.C., who sat out the Hitmen's 2-0 pre-season win Tuesday over the Red Deer Rebels.
Realistically, Seabrook likely won't get offered a pro contract this year, but he's a going to a team that likes Hitmen d-men, with Jeff Schultz also contributing on the Caps' backend.
Seabrook, whose older brother, Brent, plays with the Chicago Blackhawks after a successful junior career with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, was drafted by the Hitmen in the 2003 bantam draft and played NCAA hockey last season with the University of Denver Pioneers.
But Seabrook, a second-round, 52nd-overall selection by the Capitals in 2006, wanted to lace 'em up with the Hitmen and get in more games than the NCAA schedule allows.
"We've got a great group of guys here, and we all have a good time together, so it should be a really good year."
He'd love to play with Alzner, the Caps' first round pick this summer. And expect to see them on the point on the Hitmen powerplay.
"Yeah maybe. That would be awesome -- he's a great player," Seabrook said.
The 6-ft., 198-lb. blueliner, who had two goals and 11 assists last year with the Pioneers, was actually a pretty decent lacrosse player back in the day after playing the game for seven years, but he always knew hockey was his game.
"I knew I always wanted to be in the NHL, but lacrosse was really fun, and I was always really good at it," Seabrook said. "But it never really crossed my mind to keep going."
The Hitmen resume their pre-season schedule tomorrow night (Centennial Arenas, 7 p.m.) against the Kootenay Ice.
Other Hitmen heading to pro camps are Ryan White (Montreal), Carson McMillan (Minnesota), Alex Plante (Edmonton), Brett Sonne (St. Louis), Ian Duval (Tampa Bay), Keegan Dansereau (Florida), T.J. Galiardi (Colorado) and Bostjan Golicic (Atlanta).