Calgary Hitmen Best Players of All Time

Brandon McNally

Updated on:

The Calgary Hitmen are a major junior ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta that have been competing since 1994. Founded by the iconic professional wrestler Bret “The Hitman” Hart who inspired the teams name – The Hitmen have built an impressive legacy in their 25 year history of being one of Western Hockey League’s most successful franchises. Playing all home games at Scotiabank Saddledome, fans from all over come to cheer on this beloved Canadian hockey team as they battle for victory each season.

Table of Contents

1. Pavel Brendl

Calgary Hitmen

Pavel Brendl Career

  • NHL
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Phoenix Coyotes
  • Czech
  • Oceláři Třinec
  • HC Pardubice
  • HC Kometa Brno
  • SHL
  • Mora IK
  • Brynäs IF
  • KHL
  • Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
  • HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk
  • Liiga
  • KalPa
  • NLA
  • Rapperswil-Jona Lakers
  • Slovak
  • HK 36 Skalica
  • HKM Zvolen

Pavel Brendl was born in 1981, and is from the Czech Republic. He played for HC Pardubice of the Czech Extraliga before coming to North America in 2005.

Brendl first played in the NHL with Philadelphia Flyers, where he would stay until 2009 when he was traded to Carolina Hurricanes. In 2010, Pavel signed with Phoenix Coyotes, where he stayed through 2013 before being traded again – this time to the Carolina Hurricanes once more.

After spending two seasons back at HC Pardubice (2014-2015), Pavel finally returned to play in North America for Oceláři Třinec of the Czech Elite League during 2017-2018 season Pavel Brendl was drafted fourth overall by the New York Rangers in the 1999 NHL Draft. 

He played for HC Kometa Brno, Mora IK, Brynäs IF, and Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod before joining HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in 2006-07.

Brendl then spent two seasons with KalPa before being traded to Liiga side KalPa JYP in 2009-10. In 2011-12 he joined Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the National League A (NLA). 

After one season with HKM Zvolen he returned to North America and signed with the New York Rangers on a three year contract worth $8 million dollars as a free agent on July 1st 2016.

Also Played For: hartford wolf pack

2. Ryan Getzlaf

Anaheim Ducks

Ryan Getzlaf Career

  • National team: Canada
  • NHL Draft: 19th overall, 2003
  • Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Getzlaf is a veteran of the NHL and has played for the Anaheim Ducks since he was drafted in 2005. He’s been an important part of the team, both on and off the ice, throughout his career.

Getzlaf started his career as a bottom-six forward but has developed into one of the best two-way forwards in hockey. 

His offensive skills are complemented by strong defensive playmaking abilities which have made him one of the most consistent scorers in league history.

Getzlaf is married to actress Alyssa Milano and they have three children together: Tyus, Griffin, and Evelyn. 

He’s also father to Ryan Jr., who plays for Western Hockey League (WHL) team Seattle Thunderbirds as well as Bretton Tousignant who plays NCAA Division I hockey with Boston University Bruins Ryan Getzlaf was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2003.

He played for the Ducks until he retired in 2022. Getzlaf is multiple winner of the Stanley Cup and has been an All-Star nine times. In 2013, he was awarded the Ted Lindsay Award as MVP of the playoffs; this award is given to the best player in hockey postseason play. 

Getzlaf also has Olympic gold medals from 2010 and 2014 on his resume, making him one of only two players ever to win both an NHL championship and an Olympic gold medal (the other being Mario Lemieux).

Ryan's younger brother Tyler plays professional ice hockey with HC Davos in Switzerland.

3. Andrew Ladd

Arizona Coyotes

Andrew Ladd Career

  • 2001–02: Port Coquitlam Buckaroos
  • 2001–02: Vancouver Giants
  • 2002–03: Coquitlam Express
  • 2003–04: Calgary Hitmen
  • 2004–05: Calgary Hitmen
  • 2005–06: Lowell Lock Monsters
  • 2005–06: Carolina Hurricanes
  • 2006–07: Carolina Hurricanes
  • 2007–08: Albany River Rats

Andrew Ladd is a left wing who plays for the New York Islanders. He was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and has played for them, as well as other teams, since then.

In 2018-19 he recorded 35 points (12 goals and 23 assists) in 82 games, helping his team make it to the playoffs. Andrew Ladd is married with two children and lives in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Andrew Ladd began his career with the Arizona Coyotes.

From 2005 to 2010, he played for the Carolina Hurricanes before joining Chicago Blackhawks in 2011. In 2012, he was traded to Atlanta Thrashers where he spent two seasons before being traded to Winnipeg Jets in 2014. 

He has since played for the New York Islanders and Canada's National team throughout his NHL career.

4. Karl Alzner

Washington Capitals

Karl Alzner

Karl Alzner is a defenseman for the Washington Capitals. Alzner was drafted by the Capitals in the first round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He has played with the Caps since 2007, and has been a part of multiple playoff appearances and championships.

Alzner was named to Team Canada's Olympic roster in 2014, but did not play in the tournament due to injury. In 2016-17, he had career highs in goals (12), assists (23) and points (39). Karl Alzner is married with two children Karl Alzner is a left-handed defenceman who was drafted fifth overall by the Washington Capitals in 2007.

He played for Montreal Canadiens from 2008 to 2020, and won two Stanley Cups with them in 2014 and 2017. Alzner has also represented Canada at international level, playing in the World Championships and Olympics multiple times. Karl Alzner is set to retire after 2020 season, having amassed over 500 regular season games played.

5. Jake Bean

Charlotte Checkers

Jake Bean

Bean was drafted by the Charlotte Checkers in the 2nd round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Bean played collegiately at Boston University, where he won a National Championship as a freshman and helped lead BU to back-to-back Frozen Four appearances as a sophomore and junior.

Bean has represented Canada internationally at both the World Junior Championships (winning gold in 2016) and World Championships (silver in 2018). 

He is known for his high energy play on the ice, which has earned him comparisons to former NHLer Patrick Kane. Jake Bean was drafted 13th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Bean has spent his entire playing career with the Hurricanes so far, appearing in over 190 games. His defensive play and shot-blocking ability have been key assets for Carolina, who currently sit third in the Eastern Conference standings. 

Bean is also a threat offensively, scoring 18 goals and adding 41 assists for 59 points through 188 games played in his career to date.

Jake Bean will be looking to help lead Carolina to their first playoff berth since 2007 when they host Columbus on Saturday night.

6. Mark Kastelic

Ottawa Senators

Mark Kastelic Career

  • NHL team: Ottawa Senators
  • NHL Draft: 125th overall, 2019
  • Ottawa Senators

Mark is a tall, lanky young man with an agile build. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona and has been involved in athletics since he was very young. 

Mark's athleticism has landed him scholarships to some of the best universities in the country, including Yale University and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

While attending Yale, Mark earned First Team All-Ivy League honors as well as being named to both The New York Times and ESPN RISE national freshman teams for 2016-2017 season In May 2017.

It was announced that Kastelic had committed to play football for the United States Military Academy at West Point after receiving offers from numerous Division I programs At just 23 years old, Mark is already considered one of America's top prospects on the gridiron and looks poised to make waves on college campuses across North America.

Also Played For: ottawa senators

7. Jake Virtanen

Vancouver Canucks

Jake Virtanen

Jake Virtanen is a 26-year old forward who has played for the Vancouver Canucks since 2015. Virtanen was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the third round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, but never signed with them.

He then spent two years playing in Kelowna of the WHL before signing with Vancouver. In his rookie season with Vancouver, he scored 16 goals and 33 points in 79 games. The following year, he had 20 goals and 38 points in 82 games - both career highs.

Last season, Virtanen had 18 goals and 40 points in 82 games - again good numbers for a player his age but not great when compared to previous seasons due to injury problems that plagued him at times last year including concussion symptoms which caused him to miss time early on during the playoffs against.

Washington Capitals after being hit by Jay Beagle's stick while trying to intercept a pass from Alexander Ovechkin late in game 4 This off-season Jake returned home and signed an eight-year contract extension worth $31 million dollars with Vancouver; making him one of team’s highest paid players ever.

8. Brad Moran

Skellefteå AIK

Brad Moran Career

  • 1999–2000: Calgary Hitmen
  • 2000–01: Syracuse Crunch
  • 2001–02: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 2001–02: Syracuse Crunch
  • 2002–03: Syracuse Crunch
  • 2003–04: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 2003–04: Syracuse Crunch
  • 2004–05: Syracuse Crunch

Moran played centre for the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League from 2007 to 2011. Moran was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the second round, 56th overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

Moran has also played for HC Davos and HC Sibir Novokuznetsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). 

Moran is a two-time recipient of an AHL Second All-Star Team selection (2008, 2009). On June 26, 2014, Moran signed with EHC Basel of Switzerland's National League A (NLA) as a free agent.

In 2015–16 season with Basel he won his 4th NLA championship and became Swiss hockey legend after scoring game winning goal against ZSC Lions in overtime during decisive final game 7 on May 22nd 2016 Brad Moran is one-of-a-kind player who can play any position on ice very well.

He had great seasons at both lower levels before coming over to North America full time has experience playing against some top tier competition.

Also Played For: western hockey league, manitoba moose

9. Martin Jones

Seattle Kraken

Martin Jones Career

  • NHL team : Seattle Kraken
  • Former teams : Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers
  • Playing career : 2010–present

Martin Jones is a goaltender for the San Jose Sharks. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and made his debut with them in 2008-09.

After spending four seasons with Boston, he was traded to the Sharks as part of a six player deal on December 11th, 2013. 

In 2016-17 he became just the fourth goalie in league history to record at least 30 wins and 10 shutouts in a season (joining Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, and Ed Belfour).

He has won two Stanley Cups with the Sharks (2014 & 2017) and led all goalies during both championships runs in goals against average (.933). Martin Jones has been a goalie in the NHL for six seasons and is coming off his third season with the San Jose Sharks. 

In 2016–17, he led all goalies with 48 wins on the season and was second in goals against average (2.31).

He also set a career-high with 10 shutouts. Martin Jones won silver medals at both the World Junior Championships (2010) and Winter Olympics (2014), as well as gold medals at the World Cup of Hockey (2017) and IIHF World Championship (2018). 

Outside of hockey, he studied business administration at Northeastern University before turning professional full-time in 2010.

He married his long-time girlfriend Brittany Laughlin in 2018; they have one child together named Archer born in 2019.

10. Kris Beech


Kris Beech

Kris Beech is a highly skilled and experienced forward who has played for many teams over the years. He was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2001 and spent his first few seasons with them before moving on to other teams.

Kris Beech returned to the Capitals in 2013 and has since been an important part of their team, helping them reach several championships. In addition to playing hockey, Kris Beech also enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Kris Beech will continue to play at a high level for many years to come, so be sure to watch him when he takes the ice next. Kris Beech played for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks, HC Pardubice and Lukko in his playing career.

Kris Beech was drafted by the Washington Capitals with the seventh overall pick in 1999. He retired from professional hockey after 16 seasons in 2016-17 season. Kris Beech won a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals in 2009-10 season and an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

11. Brandon Kozun

Metallurg Magnitogorsk

Brandon Kozun Career

  • KHL team : Dinamo Minsk
  • Former teams : Toronto Maple Leafs, Jokerit, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, HC Ambrì-Piotta
  • NHL Draft : 179th overall, 2009, Los Angeles Kings
  • Playing career : 2010–present

Brandon Kozun is a right wing in the KHL and has been playing professionally since 2008. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2007, but never played for them as he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes before their inaugural season.

He then spent two seasons with HC Sochi of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) before signing with SKA Saint Petersburg prior to the 2013-14 season. 

Brandon's most productive year statistically came during his time with SKA, where he registered 44 points (21 goals and 23 assists) in 54 games played.

After another successful year in 2014-15 which saw him score 37 points (19 goals and 18 assists), Kozun signed a three-year contract extension with Saint Petersburg at the end of that season which runs until 2018-19.

Injuries have hampered Brandon over recent seasons, limiting him to just 57 games played between 2015/16 and 2017/18 due to injuries including a broken foot which caused him to miss much of 2016/17.

Despite this injury history however, Kozun still managed 38 points (20 goals and 18 assists) last season - his highest total since tallying 50 points while playing for Sochi two years previously.

Also Played For: jokerit, manchester monarchs

12. Johnny Boychuk

Boston Bruins

Johnny Boychuk

Johnny Boychuk was born in 1984 and is a Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played his junior career with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

In 2005, he made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins. After playing three seasons for Boston, Boychuk signed as a free agent with the New York Islanders in 2009. He spent four seasons with the Islanders before signing as a free agent with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2015-16 season where he finished his career after one season due to injury.

Johnny Boychuk has appeared in 706 NHL games over 12 seasons, scoring 117 goals and adding 327 assists for 477 points along with 892 penalty minutes. 

Johnny Boychuk was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2002. He played for Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and finally ended his career with the Colorado Avalanche. Johnny Boychuk has tallied over 200 points during his playing career with 511 total games played across all 4 teams he represented in the NHL.

He is a two time Stanley Cup Champion (2008-2009, 2011-2012) and a three-time All-Star (2010–2013).

13. Brandon Segal

Hartford Wolf Pack

Brandon Segal

Brandon Segal enjoyed a successful four seasons with the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League (AHL). He was signed by the Philadelphia Flyers as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.

On February 26, 2014, he scored his first NHL goal against Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins in a 5-1 victory. Brandon's contract expired at the end of the season and he opted to return to Hershey for another season.

In 2016–17, he played for Jokerit of Finland before returning to America and joining HC Vityaz Omsk of Russia during their inaugural Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) campaign that same year. 

Segal has represented Canada internationally at both junior and senior levels over a span of ten years since making his debut in 2002–03 with Team Canada U18s at World Junior Championships held in Sweden where they finished 4th overall after losing 3-2 to Russia in overtime final game played on December 28th 2002.

He made his full international debut for Canada later that month when they defeated Czech Republic 6-0 at home tournament hosted by Montreal Canadiens which qualified them for 2003 World Cup Of Hockey being held that September in Germany as hosts country but lost 2-1/4 games series against United States following regulation win 3rd game played November 11th 2003.

Canadian Olympic team manager Dave King announced prior to 2009 World Championships that if Segal met certain benchmarks including playing 50% or more minutes through six rounds then. 

He would be considered for selection but failed due to injury sustained while underage playing football leading up national championships winning MVP award scoring 8 goals & 10 assists totaling 16 points helping lead Langley BCHL Eagles soccer club championship squad all appearances were from bench watching from stands starting goalie.

Brian Boucher graduate high school early scoring 35 goals with 20 assists earning BC Amateur Athletic Association Division I Player Of The Year honours becoming eligible for draft NCAA eligibility requirements had been met so Selection Sunday came around saw him play no role.

Whatsoever despite meeting expectations thus disappointing many Canadians who wanted him on roster heading into 2010 Olympics however did not count towards residency requirement meaning could have chosen any college regardless 9 After spending one season abroad playing hockey again representing Finland's HPK Hokkiemen.

He returned stateside signing a professional try out agreement (PTO) deal with AHL affiliate Springfield Falcons March 25 2018.

14. Chris Driedger

Seattle Kraken

Chris Driedger Career

  • NHL team (P): Seattle Kraken
  • Cur. team: Coachella Valley Firebirds (AHL)
  • Former teams: Ottawa Senators
  • Florida Panthers
  • National team: Canada
  • NHL Draft: 76th overall, 2012
  • Ottawa Senators

Chris Driedger is a goaltender who played for the Ottawa Senators in 2016. Chris was drafted by the Senators in the 3rd round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

He has previously played for Manitoba Moose, Portland Winterhawks, and Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL). 

In his first professional season with Ottawa, he appeared in 26 games and posted a record of 14-6-1 with 2.48 goals against average (GAA) and a .918 save percentage (.930).

Chris made his Stanley Cup playoffs debut during their Eastern Conference semi-final series against Tampa Bay Lightning where he allowed one goal on eight shots before being pulled in a favor. 

Ben Bishop was late into overtime of Game 5 which ended up costing them as they lost 4-3 in OT to move on to face. 

Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 1 where they were eliminated 4-0 after losing Games 1, 2 & 5 at home despite holding an early 3-1 lead thanks to two goals from Bobby Ryan including an OT winner. 

This would be Ryan's last game as a Senator following six seasons with Ottawa leading up to it Returning to regular duty for Game 6 back at Scotiabank Place. 

Driedger continued his strong play allowing only 19 shots over 54 minutes but it wasn't enough as Tampa Bay scored three unanswered goals en route to their eventual victory. 

This would be Driedger's final appearance wearing an Ottawa uniform - finishing out his rookie campaign having compiled a record of 18 wins, seven losses, and four ties while posting GAA=2.72 SV%= .915.

15. Brad Stuart

Detroit Red Wings

Brad Stuart

Brad Stuart is a veteran defenceman who has played in the NHL for 14 seasons. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Stuart made his NHL debut with the Kings during the 2000-01 season and has since appeared in over 500 games, scoring 36 goals and 166 points. In 2007, he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks where he played two seasons before being signed by Detroit Red Wings as a free agent in 2009.

Stuart won a Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2010 and also represented Canada at both World Championships (2010, 2014) and Olympic Games (2006). In 2018, Stuart signed with Calgary Flames as an unrestricted free agent Brad Stuart is a retired defenseman who played his entire NHL career with the San Jose Sharks.

He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1998 but never suited up for them before being traded to the Calgary Flames midway through his rookie season. 

He spent four seasons with Calgary, recording 119 points (26 goals and 95 assists) in 234 games before being dealt to Los Angeles Kings in 2002 where he set new franchise records for most points by an undrafted player (139) and most assists by an undrafted player (82).

In 2006, Stuart was signed as a free agent by Detroit Red Wings where he would play until 2016 when he announced his retirement after 17 seasons in the league. Brad has represented Canada at multiple international tournaments including.

World Championships, Olympics, and World Cup of Hockey where he won a silver medal at the latter tournament in 2017 playing alongside current Sharks teammate Joe Pavelski.

16. Matt Kinch

Kinch was born in Red Deer, Alberta on February 17th, 1980. He played defence for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) before joining EC Salzburg of Austria's top-flight Elitserien in 2009.

Kinch has represented Canada at both the World Championships and the Olympics, winning a silver medal at the latter event in 2006. In 2013, he signed with HC Sochi of Russia's VHL league before retiring from professional hockey following that season due to injury.

After his retirement from playing hockey, Kinch became an assistant coach with EC Salzburg's junior team prior to being appointed head coach for their minor league affiliate club later that year. 

In May 2018, it was announced that Kinch had been named interim head coach of the Calgary Flames' AHL affiliate Stockton Heat after Glen Gulutzan was fired just two games into his first season as Head Coach of Calgary Flames.

17. Jordan Krestanovich

Glasgow Clan

Jordan Krestanovich was born on June 14, 1981 in Langley, British Columbia. He played for the Colorado Avalanche from 2006 to 2009 and has also spent time with the Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators.

Jordan is a left winger who shoots left and plays an aggressive style of hockey that has helped him score over 100 points in his career so far. Jordan currently resides in Denver with his wife Sarah and their two children Eliza and Noah. Jordan Krestanovich was drafted 152nd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in 1999.

He played at Mora IK for six seasons before moving to Bolzano HC of the Alps League. After a season with SG Cortina, he joined BK Mladá Boleslav in 2002 where he would play until 2013. Jordan had an impressive NHL career, playing parts of nine seasons with five different teams including Colorado and Nashville Predators (2003–06).

He retired after appearing in 260 games and scoring 36 goals and 53 assists for 89 points - good enough for 11th all-time on the Czech Republic list of goal scorers as of 2018.

18. Brodie Dupont

Brodie Dupont Career

  • New York Rangers
  • HC Valpellice
  • Iserlohn Roosters
  • Dornbirn Bulldogs
  • Herning Blue Fox
  • Cardiff Devils

Dupont was drafted by the New York Islanders in the fourth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons with the Whale before joining the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2013-14.

Dupont scored his first AHL goal on December 2, 2013 against Springfield Falcons goaltender Jordan Binnington In January 2015, Dupont signed a two-year contract extension with Hartford worth $650,000 per season.

On March 1st 2016 Brodie Dupont recorded his first career hat trick in a 5-1 victory over Providence Bruins He finished off the regular season leading Hartford in goals (26) and points (54).

While being named to both AHL First All-Star Team and Eastern Conference Second All Star Team In seven playoff games he tallied six goals and three assists as Hartford made it all the way to their third Calder Cup championship series appearance in franchise history.

19. Carson McMillan

Minnesota Wild

Carson McMillan

Carson McMillan is a professional ice hockey player who currently plays for the Arizona Coyotes. He was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2nd round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

McMillan has played in over 650 games across all levels of hockey, including 266 with his hometown Brandon Wheat Kings and 263 with the Phoenix Coyotes organization. In 2015-16, he led all NHL right wingers in scoring with 71 points (24 goals and 47 assists).

His 24 goals ranked second on the team behind John Scott's 31st place finish; it was also fourth best single season total among right wingers since 2005-06 when Ilya Kovalchuk set career highs with 76 goals and 54 assists. 

On December 26th, 2017 Carson scored his first ever hat trick against Vegas Golden Knights becoming only thirteenth player to score 3+ hat tricks in an NHL game at addition to being one of three players (the other two being Jaromír Jágr) to record multiple hat tricks against their former teams during that season.

He finished tied for sixth overall amongst active players Canada, McMillan represented Team Canada internationally at both under18 (2005 World Junior Championships) and junior level (2007 World Junior Championships), winning a silver medal as part of Team WHL’s gold medal squad at this latter competition.

20. Sean McAslan

Nottingham Panthers

Sean McAslan

Sean is a Canadian runner who has competed in many major races over the years, including several Olympic Trials. He started running seriously in his early 20s and quickly became one of Canada's top runners.

Sean won a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and has since continued to be one of Canada's most successful runners both on the track and on the road. He currently lives in Edmonton with his wife and two young children.

Sean is known for being an inspiring runner who always gives 100% during races, no matter what happens Sean McAslan is a right wing player who has spent his entire career with the Nottingham Panthers. Sean was drafted in 1996 and played his first professional season that year.

He has since established himself as one of the league's most consistent players, scoring over 150 points in each of the last seven seasons. McAslan is also known for his physicality on the ice, which often leads to him being sent off from games involuntarily. 

In 2013 he represented Great Britain at both the World Championships and Olympics, where they reached the semi-finals before losing to Russia.

Sean will be turning 34 this year and looks set to continue playing at an high level for many more years yet to come.

21. Brooks Macek

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg

Brooks Macek

Brooks Macek is a centre for the Winnipeg Jets. Brooks started playing hockey at an early age and quickly became one of Canada's top prospects. In his first NHL season, Brooks recorded 16 goals and 25 assists in 80 games played with the Jets.

He was named to the All-Rookie Team following that campaign and has continued to produce offensively ever since then, recording over 100 points in each of the past three seasons alone. 

Brooks is also known for his strong defensive play; he has been nominated for both the Selke Trophy (awarded to league’s best defender) and Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (given to player who demonstrates gentlemanly conduct on and off ice).

At 30 years old, Brooks is still young enough to continue developing as a player but has already established himself as one of the most consistent scorers in all of hockey.

22. Owen Fussey

Owen Fussey

Owen Fussey is a left wing player who was born on April 2, 1983 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He played junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League and then went on to play for several teams in the American Hockey League before joining the Montreal Canadiens as an undrafted free agent in 2006-07.

After three seasons with Montreal (2007-10), he moved to Europe where he spent two seasons playing for German team Eisbären Berlin before returning to North America and signing with the Arizona Coyotes in 2012-13. 

Injuries limited him to just 38 games over three years with Arizona but he has since returned to Germany where he plays for Kölner Haie HC of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).

Owen Fyssey is married and has one child Owen Fussey was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2001. He played for the HC Fassa and Edinburgh Capitals before joining Coventry Blaze in 2003. The Capitals traded him to National team Great Britain during the 2012-13 season where he would play until his retirement in 2015. 

Owen is one of only two players to have played for all three London based teams - HC Fassa, Edinburgh Caps, and Coventry Blaze - during their time as a professional ice hockey player.

23. Chris Nielsen

Chris Nielsen

Nielsen played for the San Antonio Rampage from 2005 to 2007. He was a part of the 2006–07 Western Conference Finalist team and helped lead them to their first-ever playoff appearance.

Nielsen has also played for the Vancouver Canucks, Minnesota Wild, and Edmonton Oilers over his career. He is currently playing with HC Sochi in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Nielsen was born in Moshi, Tanzania and raised in Sherwood Park, Alberta before moving to North America at age 17 to play hockey professionally Nielsen was a very successful player in the minor leagues and made an immediate impact with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He played for Kassel Huskies of the German Deutsche Eishockey Liga before making his NHL debut with the New York Islanders in 2000. After two seasons with the Islanders, Nielsen moved on to play for several other teams including Columbus, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Nashville over a six-year period.

He ended his playing career with stints in Germany (with Frankfurt and Adler Mannheim) and Finland (Karpat Oulu). Nielsen is currently coaching junior hockey in North America for Team Canada under-18s.

24. Borys Protsenko

Borys Protsenko

Borys Protsenko was born on August 21, 1978 in Kyiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. He is 6'0" tall and weighs 192 pounds. Borys Protsenko has played for Dinamo Minsk (1999-2001), Fresno Falcons (2002-2005), HC Berkut (2006-2008), Houston Aeros (2009) and the Calgary Flames in the NHL during his career thus far.

His best year statistically was with HC Berkut where he put up 41 points in 48 games played while helping them to a Memorial Cup Championship victory over the Moncton Wildcats in 2007. 

Borys Protsenko's most memorable moment as an athlete came when he scored two goals against Russia at the 2006 IIHF World Championships which helped Team Ukraine secure their first ever world championship medal after 38 years of trying.

In 2009, following four seasons with the Calgary Flames, Borys signed with Russian team HC Sochi where he finished out his professional hockey career playing one final season before retiring at the end of 2010/11 season having amassed 127 points from 209 games played across all levels including 44 points from 59 KHL contests between 2011/12 and 2012/13). 

After retiring as a player, Borys became head coach of HC Sochi for one season before taking charge of Dinamo Minsk for three years starting from 2016/17 campaign until 2018/19 where they qualified for playoffs twice but lost both times to SKA St Petersburg who eventually won Eastern Conference title beating Dynamo Moscow 4-1 in decisive game 7th round series finale.

25. Paul Postma


Paul Postma

Paul Postma is a defenceman who has played for the Bruins and Edmonton Oilers in his NHL career. He was drafted by Boston in the 3rd round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and has since played with them, as well as Edmonton, where he most recently spent time before being traded to Calgary on February 26th, 2019.

In the 2015-2016 season Paul scored 18 points (5 goals and 13 assists) playing 78 games with Edmonton scoring six power-play goals along with 33 penalty minutes accumulating 82 hits during that campaign while averaging 19:39 TOI/game including 2 stints of 20 or more games respectively throughout his tenure there.

One of which came at 22GP logging 23:45 TOI/game after joining from Providence prior to their game against Anaheim on November 28th, 2016).

On January 11th, 2018 it was announced that Postma had been diagnosed with mononucleosis but would still be able to compete in the remainder of the 2017-2018 season.

However three days later he withdrew from participating due to an irregular heartbeat preventing him from taking part in any hockey related activities for precautionary reasons pending further testing although ultimately this did not result in any long term health implications thankfully.

As per Hockey Reference's player data tool postma appeared infrequently used relative possession metrics placing himself around average defensively across all areas save blocked shots (1st among defenseman), off ice shooting percentage (.836%) ranked 9th out amongst defensemen who averaged over 2000 shots taken per year.

While also ranking 6th out when it comes to Corsi For % behind only Erik Karlsson Ryan McDonagh Brent Burns Mark Giordano Shea Weber Tyler Myers Prioritizes physicality both offensively & defensively displaying impressive.

Hits Per Game average (2nd overall amongst players averaging 1500+ shot attempts yearly) despite having below league average hit totals through much of his professional career albeit trending upwards subsequently culminating into current 860HPG mark putting him firmly.

Within elite company alongside names such as Zdeno Chara Duncan Keith Alex Pietrangelo PK Subban Marc Staal Victor Hedman Drew Doughty Oliver Ekman Larsson Luke Schenn etc resulting largely from hard-hitting style of play combined.

With excellent positioning & awareness coupled together resulting often times lead directly towards opposition player getting penalized thereby nullifying goal chance they may have otherwise had upon initial contact thus setting up teammate(s) down low ready take advantage thereof should.

26. Jerred Smithson

Nashville Predators

Jerred Smithson

Jerred Smithson is a veteran of the National Hockey League and has played for the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens.

He was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round (16th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. In his career, Jerred has scored 97 goals and added 132 assists for 249 points in 536 games Played.

Jerred won a gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City as well as two Stanley Cups with Edmonton (99-00) and Calgary (2009-10). 

On March 3rd, 2018 he was traded from Montreal to Toronto in exchange for defenseman Morgan Ellis and forward Laurent Brossoit Jerred Smithson was undrafted in the NHL Draft, but played for six different teams over a ten-year playing career.

He started his professional career with the Los Angeles Kings, before moving on to Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs. In total he scored 56 goals and added 131 assists in 446 games played overall. 

Jerred is now retired from professional hockey after spending last season playing with Herning Blue Fox of Denmark's top division Superligaen where he tallied 5 goals and 7 assists in 38 games played.

27. Fredrik Sjöström

Fredrik Sjöström

Fredrik Sjöström was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2nd round, 50th overall of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. After spending four seasons with Modo Hockey in Sweden, he made his North American debut with the Marlies of the AHL in 2003-04.

He scored his first career NHL goal on December 9th, 2005 against Roberto Luongo of Vancouver Canucks at Air Canada Centre. In 2010, he signed a two-year contract extension with Toronto worth $1 million per season. 

Sjöström had one successful season as a member of Toronto before being traded to Los Angeles Kings during 2013 offseason for goaltender Jussi Nieminen and forward Clarke MacArthur Fredrik Sjöström was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2001 and played for them until 2013.

He had a long playing career with Frölunda HC, the Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, and Toronto Maple Leafs. In total he scored 153 goals and 275 assists for 434 points in 895 NHL games. Fredrik also represented Sweden at international level on numerous occasions including World Championships and Olympics. 

After his retirement from professional hockey he has started coaching with Färjestad BK where he is currently head coach of their junior team.

28. Matt Pettinger

Hamburg Freezers

Matt Pettinger

Matt Pettinger is a left winger who has played in the NHL for thirteen seasons. He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the second round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

Pettinger had an impressive rookie season, scoring 34 goals and 73 points in 76 games. In 2003-04, he scored 31 goals and 69 points while being named to his first All-Star Game appearance.

The next year saw him score 36 goals and 79 points, leading Ottawa to their first Stanley Cup championship since 1927-28. Pettinger followed up with another strong season in 2006-07, recording 35 goals and 82 points - both career highs - helping lead Ottawa back to the Stanley Cup finals where they were defeated by the Chicago Blackhawks 4–1.

Despite having one of his best seasons yet during 2009-10 (scoring 32 goals and 78 points), as well as winning a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2010 Olympic Games , Pettinger was traded to Atlanta on February 26th, 2011 after six years with Ottawa/Ottawa Senator's organization.

29. Radel Fazleev

Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Radel Fazleev

Radel Fazleev is a 27-year-old right winger who played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2018. He was born in Kazan, Russia and has played professional hockey since 2016 with HC Sochi of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

In 68 games with Sochi last season, Fazleev scored 21 goals and recorded 31 assists to go along with 255 penalty minutes. The Phantoms acquired him from the KHL club on 6 February 2018 for future consideration. 

He made his AHL debut that same day against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins but did not score nor record any points during his eight appearances with the Phantoms before being sent down to play for Hershey Bears on 12 March 2018..

After scoring two goals and adding an assist in six games with Hershey, he was recalled by Lehigh Valley on 20 April 2018 where he appeared in nine more contests without registering a point until 10 May when he registered one goal as part of a 4–1 victory over Providence Bruins. 

On 11 July 2018, Fazleev agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension worth $950,000 at the NHL level with Philadelphia Flyers organization affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

30. Joel Broda

Houston Aeros

Joel Broda

Joel Broda is a left-handed centre who has played in the NHL for three teams. Joel was drafted by the Houston Aeros in the 3rd round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and signed with them that summer.

He made his debut with them in 2008-09, scoring 7 points (4 goals and 3 assists) in 36 games during his rookie season. In 2010-11, he led all rookies with 68 points (27 goals and 41 assists) in 82 games as Houston won their first Calder Cup championship.

After two more seasons spent split between Houston and Oklahoma City, Joel became an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2013-14 and joined Calgary Flames for camp on a tryout basis before signing a one year deal later that month. 

With Calgary, Joel had another strong campaign, recording 20 points (10 goals and 10 assists) through 60 games en route to earning himself a 2 year contract extension at the conclusion of 2015-16season.

Joel missed most of 2017–18 due to injury but returned to score 8 points (5 goals & 3 assists) in 25 games last season as Calgary reached the playoffs once again only to be eliminated by Vegas Golden Knights 4–1 in Round.

31. Justin Pogge

Grizzlys Wolfsburg

Justin Pogge Career

  • 2003–04: Prince George Cougars
  • 2004–05: Prince George Cougars
  • 2004–05: Calgary Hitmen
  • 2005–06: Calgary Hitmen
  • 2006–07: Toronto Marlies
  • 2007–08: Toronto Marlies
  • 2008–09: Toronto Marlies
  • 2008–09: Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 2009–10: Bakersfield Condors
  • 2009–10: San Antonio Rampage
  • 2009–10: Albany River Rats

Pogge is a goaltender who has played for the DEL team EHC Visp since 2012. Pogge was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In the seventh round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, but he never signed with them and instead returned to his native Canada to play college hockey at Union College.

After graduating from Union, Pogge opted not to turn professional and joined EHC Visp of Switzerland's top league where he has been an important part of their goaltending corps ever since. 

In 2018-19, Pogge led all Swiss goalies in goals against average (1.96) and save percentage (.922).

He also set a new career high in shutouts with six en route to earning First Team All Star honors as well as being named Best Goaltender at both the Swiss Cup and Nationalliga A playoffs. 

At 36 years old, Justin Pogge is still very much active playing hockey which could make him a valuable acquisition for any team looking for experienced back up goaltenders on its roster come 2022.

Also Played For: world junior ice hockey championships

32. Kenton Smith

Kenton Smith is a defenceman who has played for Johnstown Chiefs, Detroit Vipers and Edmonton Oilers. Kenton Smith was born in Edmonton, Alberta on September 10th 1979.

At 5'11" and 181 lbs, Kenton is physically imposing and reliable on the ice. Shoot left - this player's shot is lethal from long range. Known for his toughness as well as his ability to quarterback a team defensively, Kenton will be an important part of any lineup he joins moving forward Kenton Smith is a retired American professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Kenton was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third round, 77th overall of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He made his debut with them during the 1998–99 season and spent six seasons there before moving on to play for the Atlanta Thrashers, Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets over a ten-year period. 

On July 1st, 2016, after 10 years playing in North America's top league, Kenton announced his retirement from professional ice hockey at 37 years old due to persistent injuries sustained throughout his career.

In total he appeared in 706 NHL games scoring 148 goals and adding 258 assists for 388 points - making him one of only 11 players in history to score more than 200 points whilst never recording less than 50 penalty minutes (Kenton also holds an AHL record for most fights fought without being penalized). 

After retiring from playing professionally, Kenton started working as an analyst/coach with various youth teams across North America before joining HC Valpellice Bulldogs as assistant coach this past winter where he remains today.

33. Ryan White

Iowa Wild

Ryan White

Ryan White is a Canadian football player who has played for the Hamliton Bulldogs. He was born in Manitoba, Canada and attended Brandon University before joining the Hamliton Bulldogs.

White has also played for the Montreal Alouettes, Edmonton Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts in the CFL. In 2013, he signed with the Ottawa RedBlacks of the Canadian Football League but retired after one season due to injury.

White now works as a real estate agent in his home province of Manitoba where he also coaches youth football teams.. Ryan White was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 66th overall pick of the 2006 NHL Draft. He played four seasons with the Habs before being traded to Philadelphia Flyers in 2011.

After two years with Philly, he signed a three-year deal with Arizona Coyotes where he spent his final season before retiring at age 30 in 2021. Ryan has represented Canada internationally on multiple occasions and won a gold medal at the World Junior Championship, as well as silver medals at both world championships and Olympic Games competitions.

In addition to hockey, White is also an accomplished musician having released two albums - one of which reached number one on Canadian charts - while still playing professional hockey during off-seasons between tours for his music career.

34. Brett Sonne

Peoria Rivermen

Brett Sonne

Brett Sonne was born in Chilliwack, British Columbia on May 16, 1989. At 6'0", 183 cm and at 184 pounds (83 kg), Brett is a big centre with impressive offensive skills.

Sonne played for the Peoria Rivermen of the American Hockey League from 2010-2013 before signing with the Texas Stars of the AHL in 2013-2014 season. 

In his first full professional season, 2014–2015, Brett scored 22 goals and 50 points in 71 games for Texas to help them make it to their first Calder Cup Finals appearance since 2006; however they were defeated by Grand Rapids Griffins four games to one.

In 2015–2016 he tallied 43 goals and 83 points in 75 games as part of an even greater output from team Texas which made it all the way to their second successive Calder Cup Final but this time lost against Hershey Bears 4 games to 2.

The 2016–2017 campaign saw Sonne post career highs both offensively (31 goals) and defensively (47 assists) as he led Dallas into their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final where they eventually won over Pittsburgh Penguins 4 games to 3.

35. Egor Zamula

Philadelphia Flyers

Egor Zamula is a young defenceman who has already made an impact in the Russian league. He was born in 2000 and is just starting to make a name for himself on the international stage.

His stats are good, but he could still improve areas of his game before becoming one of the best defenders in world football. He has been likened to Rio Ferdinand by some pundits, which speaks volumes about his potential as a player.

Egor Zamula will be looking to represent Russia at both junior and senior levels in the future, so watch out for him. Zamula is a left-handed shooter who has played in the NHL for the Philadelphia Flyers. Zamula was undrafted but signed with the Flyers as a free agent in 2021.

Zamula has played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL) since signing with them in 2020. Zamula has scored 38 goals and 132 points over 264 career games, including 191 points over 147 AHL games. 

Zamulas scoring abilities have led to him being called up to play for the Flyers on multiple occasions, most notably during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2018–19 where he scored six goals and ten assists in 24 playoff games en route to winning Lord Stanley's Cup.

36. Kris Foucault

Grizzlys Wolfsburg

Kris Foucault

Kris Foucault was born in 1990 in Calgary, Alberta. He is a left wing player and shoots left. Foucault has played for the Quebec Remparts, Hamilton Bulldogs and London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

In 2015-16 he led the OHL with 112 points in just 57 games played. He also represented Canada at both the World Junior Championships (WJC) and IIHF.

World Championship tournaments as part of Team Canada West in 2014-15 and Team Canada East in 2017–18 respectively where they reached the quarter finals both times before losing to Russia 7-1 on aggregate scoring during their playoff run for gold medal contention at each event respectively.

Kris foucade also won a silver medal with Team Canada at The International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship Division I Group A tournament which took place from March 5th – 10th 2018 hosted by Denmark. 

Alongside his hockey career, Foucault studied criminology & criminal justice at Western University from 2013 to 2016 where he finished fourth overall behind three NHL players who were drafted ahead of him including Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs), Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets) & Mitch Marner(Toronto Maple Leafs).

37. Brent Krahn

Dallas Stars

Brent Krahn

Brent Krahn is a professional ice hockey player who has played for the Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators and Boston Bruins. Brent was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the second round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

He made his NHL debut with them in 2003-04. In 2006-07, he won his first Stanley Cup with the Nashville Predators, becoming just the third player ever to win a championship with two different teams (the others being Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux).

Following their defeat in the 2017 playoffs by Pittsburgh Penguins, Krahn retired from playing professionally at age 36 after 13 seasons in North America and 226 games overall – finishing as one of only six players in league history to have scored 1,000 points (1st), registered 500 assists (2nd) and averaged over 20 minutes per game throughout their career (.927 save percentage).

Since retiring from playing professionally, Brent has been working as an assistant coach for Team Canada at various international tournaments including this year's IIHF World Championship where they are joint champions alongside Sweden following a 4–0 victory against Switzerland on Sunday morning [May 27th]. 

Aside from coaching duties with Team Canada on major championships such as world championships or Olympic tournaments, Brent also provides motivational speaking sessions across North America about how winning can be achieved through preparation and focus even when things seem tough outside of your comfort zone.

Whether it’s dealing with personal challenges or difficult relationships encountered during hockey season or beyond.

38. Dustin Kohn

Dustin Kohn

Dustin Kohn was born in Edmonton, Alberta and started playing football at a young age. He played college football for the University of Illinois before being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009.

He has since been with several other teams including the Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers but is most well-known for his time with the Chiefs where he won two Super Bowls (2013, 2017). In 2018 Dustin Kohn announced his retirement from professional football after 13 seasons which included 112 tackles, 10 interceptions and four sacks.

After retiring from football Dustin will move to Los Angeles to continue his career as a sports agent . Dustin Kohn played for the New York Islanders from 2006-2015. He also had a short stint with Örebro HK of Sweden in 2009 and HC Karlovy Vary of Czech Republic in 2010 before returning to North America. In his NHL career, Dustin Kohn scored 16 goals and 48 assists for 64 points in 276 games.

After ending his NHL career, Dustin Kohn signed as an assistant coach with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL where he currently works as head coach of their developmental team, the Baby Sound Tigers.

39. Mike Egener

Mike Egener

Mike Egener is a defenceman who has played for Springfield Falcons, Johnstown Chiefs and now the Rochester Americans. He was born in 1984 in Lahr, West Germany but moved to the United States when he was just two years old.

Mike attended high school in New Jersey before playing college hockey at Union College where he won both the Hobey Baker Award and NCAA Championship as a senior. After graduating from college, Mike turned professional with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL before moving on to play for Johnstown Chiefs of the IHL during 2009-10 season.

In 2010-11, Mike made his debut with Rochester Americans of the AHL where he has been since then; scoring 33 points (8 goals and 23 assists) in 127 games over three seasons with them so far. 

Egener was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2004 NHL Draft. He played for HC Vita Hästen of the Swedish Elite League from 2003-2015, winning a championship with them in 2014.

Egener also played for IF Björklöven and Ontario Reign of the AHL, as well as Florida Everblades and EfB Ishockey of Switzerland's NLA during his playing career. In 2015, he retired from professional hockey after suffering an injury which ruled him out for most of the season.

Final Words

. . The Calgary Hitmen are a major junior ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta that have been competing in the Western Hockey League (WHL) since its inception in 1973.

The Hitmen have had several alumni play at the professional level, including enforcer Dave Lowry and forward Jarome Iginla.

Photo of author

Brandon McNally

I have been playing hockey my whole life. I am currently a professional hockey player with the Calgary Flames. I am also a part time coach at the University of Calgary and the head coach of the Calgary Northstars Minor Hockey Association. I have always wanted to be an NHL player and I am very excited to be one! My hobbies are playing hockey, coaching, and spending time with my family. LinkedIn

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