Over the years the Calgary Hitmen have found some impact players through the draft (Karl Alzner 2nd rd 2003, Ryan Getzlaf 3rd Rd 2000, Jeff Schultz 2nd Rd 2001, Brett Sonne 1st Rd 2004, Alex Plante Rd 2 2004, Michael Stone Rd 4 2005, Martin Jones Rd 4 2005) ) just to name a few.
They have also found some outstanding talent in the later rounds (Alex Roach 11th Rd 2008, Cody Sylvester 8th Rd 2007, Rob Trzonkowski 8th Rd 2009). Other standouts were never even drafted, just listed by the scouting staff. Those names include Brandon Kozun, Tyler Fiddler and Justin Kirsch.
Well this past summer longtime Hitmen Head Scout Brad Whelen was scooped up by the NHL, joining the Tampa Bay Lightning as a Western Regional Scout. Two weeks later the Hitmen promoted Traveling Scout Dan Bonar to fill the void and hired Ray Payne, former NHL Scout and a man with 30 years hockey experience to fill Bonar's shoes.
Recently I caught up with Dan, who's been with the Hitmen eight years, to talk about the transition to head Scout.
Click Here To Listen
Did you know it's only 12 sleeps till the Hitmen open the 2011-12 WHL season in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice? Yes I am counting down the days like Christmas. I know some of your are as well......don't lie.