Team Canada captain makes his own clothing

SCOTT FISHER

, Last Updated: 1:05 PM ET

Hockey fans across the country have come to know Karl Alzner as Team Canada's world junior team captain.

He's a rock-solid defender on the blueline, whose veteran presence has been invaluable on a young Canuck squad.

But the 19-year-old Hitmen blueliner and Washington Capitals first-round draft pick marches to the beat of his own drum off the ice.

Alzner is an admitted fashion junkie. He and former teammate Ryan Letts, who now plays with the Spokane Chiefs, even made their own clothes.

"Lettsy introduced me to a show called Laguna Beach," Alzner said.

"I started watching it and one of the guys made his own clothes and his own hats.

"I tried cutting two shirts in half and then sewing one half from each together. I do things to my jeans. I'll cut holes and sew things underneath.

"So we went out and bought a hat, some spray paint and made our own stencils.

"A couple of guys have asked me to make some for them. But these are rare items so I don't want to start sharing them around."

The 6-ft.-2, 210-pounder says his sister first sparked his interest in the fashion world.

"My sister and I became real close just as she graduated and I was in high school," he said.

"She started buying me clothes. I started reading Us Weekly and saw what Brad Pitt was wearing.

"I came to Calgary when I was 16. (Former Hitmen d-man) Dustin Kohn shops a lot, too, so we kind of gelled and you couldn't get me out of the mall.

"And then my (interest in fashion) just took off.

"I'm into things that are out of the ordinary, stuff with a skull on it.

"I just buy standout clothes. I try to get what no one else has."

The Burnaby, B.C., product packed just a single suit for his trip to the Czech Republic.

"I'm only going to take over one suit," he said. "But I've got a bunch of shirts and ties -- maybe six or seven -- but last year, I only wore one suit and tie because I was really superstitious.

"We'll have to see what happens. I have to watch (goaltender Jonathan) Bernier. He can dress pretty good, too.

"He's one of those guys who looks slick and classy. So I like to see what he has on every day."

Alzner said he'll keep his eye open for some new duds from the Czech Republic.

"I'm not too sure what the Czech Republic is like for fashion. I'm sure there will be some stores that will be OK.

"Sweden was a top place to go. I wish I had brought a little more money so I could have done more shopping there.

"I get my European friends to pick me up stuff for Christmas."

As bizarre as Alzner's fashion tastes may be, his zest for reality TV also raises the eyebrows of teammates.

"The main things I like are, of course, fashion, reality TV, MTV, stuff like that.

"Laguna Beach, The Hills, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. Those are the shows I'm into.

"Hook is my favourite movie. From way back in the day. I was seven or eight when I first saw it.

"It's like Peter Pan, but it's not a cartoon. It's the real version. Robin Williams is in it."

The affable blueliner will likely be able to drive any vehicle he wants when he signs a deal with the Capitals, but for now he gets around town the same way as the rest of his junior teammates.

"I like cars, too. I don't know too much about them but I like looking at them. Me and my buddy Dustin Kohn test-drove a couple this summer just for fun.

"I drive a Volkswagen Jetta. Not as much power as I'd like but it's alright. It does the trick."

Even his palate is a little unique.

"I'm a big fan of sushi. I really enjoy sushi and Vietnamese food. I love it. I could eat it all day."

But surely not before a game.

"I could eat it before a game," he said.

"But before a game, I usually eat whole wheat pasta and tuna. That's my favourite."

Despite his love for unique clothing, perhaps his favourite item is his prized game-worn jersey collection.

He has a number of Hitmen silks, a few from Team WHL and, prior to leaving for the Czech Republic, his girlfriend's stepdad purchased Alzner's special Teddy Bear jersey.

But his Team Canada sweater with the captain's 'C' goes to the front of the case.

"This is by far the best one yet. My sister asked me this morning if she could have it.

"I'm sure I'll let her wear it around but you always say you're going to frame a jersey.

"This is one that gets framed for sure."


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