The draft-watcher’s guide to the 2023-24 Calgary Hitmen home schedule

Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
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If you’re a hockey fan, Calgary is a great place to be. Not only does the Saddledome host two pro teams – the NHL’s Flames and AHL’s Wranglers – but for NHL Draft fans, the building also houses the Calgary Hitmen. That means that most of the top draft-eligible prospects from the Western Hockey League will play at the ‘Dome at least once during the upcoming season and fans and scouts alike can get a live look at them in the lead-up to the draft.
With the 2024 NHL Draft class expected to feature quite a few strong WHL prospects, we thought we’d flag the specific dates where the Calgary Hitmen host a player that’s expected to go high in the draft.

The Hitmen

First and foremost, the Hitmen boast a pair of pretty solid prospects. Blueliner Carter Yakemchuk is a projected first-rounder, while forward Carson Wetsch just won gold with Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and is just outside the first-round mix. The Hitmen are quite obviously the home team in every game they play at the ‘Dome, so check ’em out at your leisure.

Edmonton Oil Kings

The Oil Kings recently added Adam Jecho in the CHL Import Draft. He’s projected as a late first-rounder (or early second-rounder) after a couple strong seasons playing in Finnish junior hockey. (He’s Czech, so it’s a bit unique that he’s playing in Finland and playing so well.)
The Oil Kings play in Calgary five times: Nov. 11, Nov. 25, Jan. 7, Feb. 7 and Feb. 28. Jecho might be at the World Juniors in January and the two November games are at the same time as Flames games, so the two February games may be ideal.

Red Deer Rebels

Forward Ollie Josephson was part of Canada’s gold medal team at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He’s not necessarily in the first-round mix right now, but he’s definitely got promise. The Rebels visit the Hitmen four times: Oct. 28, Nov. 17, Dec. 13 and Mar. 8.

Medicine Hat Tigers

Forwards Andrew Basha and Cayden Lindstrom are both potential first-rounders right now, though they’re not quite cemented yet. The Tigers visit the Hitmen on Sept. 22, Dec. 15 and Feb. 9.

Swift Current Broncos

Broncos winger Clarke Caswell is another player that’s on the first round/second round bubble and could play his way into the top 32. The Broncos visit the Hitmen three times: Dec. 6, Dec. 17 and Mar. 24. The March date is a matinee, the first half of a day/night double-header that concludes with a Flames/Sabres game.

Prince Albert

The son of former Flame Byron Ritchie, Ryder Ritchie is a winger who’s considered a strong contender to be a first-rounder. (He also won gold with Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup). The Raiders visit Calgary twice this season: Dec. 3 and Jan. 21.  (The December date is the Teddy Bear Toss game, if you need help choosing.)

Regina Pats

Pats winger Tanner Howe is another probable first-rounder. The Pats visit Calgary twice in just over a week: Jan. 28 and Feb. 7.

Brandon Wheat Kings

Blueliner Charlie Elick is a gold-medallist from the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and considered a probable first-rounder. Teammate Roger McQueen was also a gold-medallist from that event, but is considered more of a bubble first-rounder (or probable second-rounder) right now.
The Wheaties come to Calgary on Jan. 26 and Mar. 6.

Spokane Chiefs

Finally, Spokane centre Berkly Catton is likely considered the top WHL talent in the 2024 draft class at this point. He’s a very likely first-rounder. The Chiefs visit Calgary just once, on Jan. 12.

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