It's 'Show' time

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

Karl Alzner is used to giving interviews.

The affable Calgary Hitmen blueliner has comfortably chatted with media members ever since he was a rookie.

But the 18-year-old has never experienced anything like this.

Alzner, projected to be a high first-round pick at today's NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, has been asked some pretty weird questions by potential employers.

"In Columbus, their psychologist said 'tell me what this means to you: A stitch in time saves nine.' I blanked and I told him I had no clue.

"Then he asked me another one: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

"I was like 'you know what, I don't know.' "

Lucky for Alzner, NHL teams will be judging his play on the ice much closer than his knowledge of obscure aphorisms.

Alzner was more than halfway through a several-hundred question exam given to him by the Edmonton Oilers when he stopped to talk to Sun Media.

"I need a break," he said. "I've probably answered about 700 or 800 questions like this already.

"My girlfriend said it would be nice if I could go on one site and fill one of these things out. Then every team that wanted to look at them, could. I think it's a brilliant idea but they all have their different ways.

"I'd hate to be the person who has to look at all these."

Ranked No. 5 among North American skaters by the Central Scouting Bureau, Alzner is just one of many Calgary-based players looking forward to Draft Day.

Teammates Alex Plante (No. 72) and Brett Sonne (No. 94) will likely have a new favourite NHL team before the weekend's over.

Calgary product Keaton Ellerby, who plies his trade with the Kamloops Blazers, is ranked one slot higher than Alzner.

Okotoks Oilers goalie Bradley Eidsness is slated fifth among North American puckstoppers. Tyson Sexsmith (Priddis) is pegged at No. 8 but his stock undoubtedly will rise after leading the Vancouver Giants to the Memorial Cup.

Alzner has been on a whirlwind tour of the continent in recent weeks.

"I was in Anaheim for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final," he said. "Then I went to Toronto for the combine, then to St. Louis to meet (the Blues' staff), then back to Toronto to do a Nike commercial, then to Columbus to meet with the Blue Jackets.

"All those places in 12 days. And now I'm back in Calgary."

Leading up to the draft, Alzner did his best to keep his mind occupied. He said he was going to help his girlfriend and her mom move into a new house.

"I'll try to use that to keep myself distracted," he said a few weeks ago. "I'm going to work out and hopefully go to some more movies.

"I'm going to get into the gym and shut out everything (former Hitmen blueliner Michael) Hengen says.

"He always beaks me no matter what I wear. He says 'is that what a first-rounder wears?' Stuff like that."

Alzner takes his clothes seriously.

He bought some treasures on his recent rip and is getting more than a little antsy waiting for them to arrive.

"The ones I bought in Toronto, they haven't shown up. They were supposed to be here two days after they sent them. I thought they'd be here last Friday or Saturday.

"I'm a little frustrated. I really want to wear them. Especially one pair of shoes I bought. They're really loud and I just want to put 'em on so bad."

Alzner got a chance to watch former teammate Ryan Getzlaf, whose Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup.

He said he's just starting to realize his own NHL career will officially start this weekend.

"When I watch highlight tapes of people winning the Stanley Cup, I always felt happy for the players," he said.

"(With the draft) getting closer, I had the biggest chills of my life when I was watching the final.

"Maybe that has something to do with me realizing it's that much closer.

"But it probably won't set in until my name has actually been called and I know where I'm going to go."


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