Hitmen targeted

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET

Kris Foucault's timing couldn't be better.

The Calgary Hitmen star was drated by the Minnesota Wild yesterday in the fourth round (103rd overall).

If he'd been drafted a year ago, the flashy offensive talent would be trying to learn how to play the trap.

"Yeah, I'm glad I'm not trapping," Foucault said with a laugh. "I'm not the best trap player."

The Wild expect to play a more exciting brand of hockey now that longtime coach Jacques Lemaire resigned.

And Foucault, who enjoyed a productive playoff run with the Hitmen, should fit in with the club's new philosophy.

"I'm pretty happy to go to Minnesota," he said. "It's a great hockey town, and I heard they have a sick rink.

"It's a fresh start, especially with the new coaching staff."

Foucault, who celebrated his high school graduation Friday night, said he received the big news from his agent.

"I was following it on the Internet, but my agent called me before I saw it," he said.

He'll head to the Wild's summer conditioning camp July 8-12.

Hitmen teammate Brandon Kozun was disappointed after not being selected in last year's draft.

But after putting up 108 points last season, NHL clubs could no longer ignore the undersized sniper.

The Los Angeles Kings grabbed Kozun in the sixth round (179th overall).

"I'm excited, and relieved a little bit," Kozun said.

The 5-foot-8, 156-pounder was even more thrilled to find out he'd be going to Los Angeles.

"I was born there and lived there for a while," he said. "So it'll be a nice little homecoming for me."

The Kings have an impressive stockpile of young talent, and Kozun thinks the team has a bright future.

"I think it's a really good opportunity for me," he said. "I think someone just needed to take a chance on me, and they'll be happy with it.

"I'm just trying to prove to everyone that I can play, and I think L.A. is going to have a big steal on their hands."

Kozun leaves July 5 for the Kings' summer camp, which means he'll miss most of the Calgary Stampede.

That's just fine with him.

"It's worth it," he said. "I'd rather be in L.A."

Other locals drafted included Dylan Olsen, who was taken by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round (28th overall).

Hawks GM Dale Tallon said Olsen is exactly what his club was looking for.

"He's a big, mobile defenceman who moves the puck well," Tallon said. "He can shut down people.

"He's all-round good and solid. I like his size. He's going to go to Minnesota-Duluth, and Norm Maciver lives right there -- he's our director of player development -- so he'll be able to keep an eye on him.

"The fact that all our young D are playing in the NHL, we had to replenish the back end."

Fellow AJHLer Corban Knight went in the fifth round (135th overall) to the Florida Panthers.

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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