On The Rise

Candice Ward/Photo

It’s a glimpse into the future.

After the Calgary Hitmen returned from the Christmas break, several prospects joined the club to get a close up look at life in the Western Hockey League.

One of them is 2018 first-round pick, Sean Tschigerl.

“It’s been a lot of fun to be here and watch the games,” he said. “The atmosphere of the Saddledome is unreal with how supportive and loud the fans get. It’s given me a taste of what’s to come and I’m so excited for the future.

“Just sitting back and seeing how huge the arena is surreal. It’s a moment of ‘wow this is where the pros play’ and somewhere you want to be one day later in your career.”

While there has been a fair share of pinch me moments for Tschigerl, the fourth-overall pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft has been given a golden opportunity to learn from the veterans and coaching staff.

All in the while, it’s also a time for the 15-year-old to get to know some future teammates and see what it takes first-hand to make that next step.

“It’s been a big learning experience and I’m trying to take away as much as I can from being around the guys. I’ve been trying to learn as much from Mark Kastelic. He’s been in the league for a long time and is a great leader. There are a lot of things he can help out with and is someone that will come to you and help you out so you can improve your game.

“Calgary is a great city and I’m looking forward to playing here one day.”

Outside of skating with the Hitmen for the past week, the Edmonton native has had an impressive season with OHA Edmonton Midget Prep. Helping lead the club to a 17-6-1 record, Tschigerl is currently tied for the team lead in scoring with 43 points (18G, 25A) and is also Top-10 in the CSSHL scoring race.

He credits his strong season to his experience during Hitmen Training Camp, learning where he needs to improve at and hasn’t looked back since.

“It gave me a lot of confidence when it was all said and done but it also made me realize what I need to get better at to make it to the next level,” Tschigerl said. “I want to be the best version of myself as I can. There’s a lot to take away from being here and I know there are things I need to work on to be here full-time next year.

“I want to come in be effective and reliable.”

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