Karl Alzner

Karl Alzner


Burnaby British Columbia

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Eligible for draft:









1st round (5th overall), 2007


205 lbs.

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2003-04: Alzner made his WHL debut playing one game with the Calgary Hitmen. He played the majority of the season with the Richmond Sockeyes in the PIHJL. Alzner scored 3 goals with 9 assists and had 8 PIM in 41 games. He had two assists in 13 playoff games for the Sockeyes.

2004-05: Alzner appeared in 66 games as a WHL rookie with the Hitmen. He had 10 assists and was +8 with 10 PIM. Alzner played in all 12 playoff games and had 3 assists and was +3 with 9 PIM for Calgary. The Hitmen defeated Lethbridge in the first round but then fell to Brandon in seven games.

2005-06: Alzner scored 4 goals with 20 assists with 14 assists and 28 PIM in 70 games in his second season with Calgary. He scored the first WHL goal of his career on October 15 against Brandon. In 13 playoff games, Alzner scored a power play goal with 3 assists and was -4 with 4 PIM. Once again the Hitmen eliminated Lethbridge in the first round before falling in seven games in the second round, this time to Moose Jaw.

2006-07: Alzner put it all together in his third season with Calgary. He scored 8 goals with 39 assists and was +16 with 32 PIM in 63 games. Six of his eight goals came on the power play. In the playoffs, Alzner scored a power play goal with 12 assists and was -3 with 4 PIM as Calgary defeated Kootenay and then Brandon in the first two rounds before falling to Medicine Hat in the conference finals. As a member of Team WHL for the Canada/Russia Challenge, Alzner looked solid as a puck carrier and was able to slow down the play in the defending zone to buy time for the breakout to develop. At the WJC U-20 tournament, he played for Team Canada and recorded one assist with 2 PIM in six games.

2007-08: Alzner served as the captain of Calgary in his fourth season and played in 60 games for the Hitmen. He had 7 goals with 29 assists and was +26 with 15 PIM. Four of his seven goals came on the power play. He started off the season right, recording two assists in the season opener against Red Deer on Sept. 21. He registered eight multi-point games during the season, including a three-point game (1 goal, 2 assists) against Brandon on Jan. 27. In 16 playoff games, he scored 4 of his 6 goals on the power play and had 2 assists, finishing -3 with 4 PIM. Calgary reached the conference semifinals; defeating Moose Jaw and Swift Current before falling to Lethbridge. Alzner was named to the Canadian Major Junior First All-Star Team and was named Defensemen of the Year. He was chosen as the WHL Player of the Year, the WHL Defenseman of the Year and was named to the WHL East First All-Star Team. Alzner won his second straight gold medal with Team Canada at the WJC U-20 tournament and scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +2. He also represented Canada in the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series. Alzner signed an entry-level contract with the Capitals in May.

2008-09: Alzner began his first pro season with the Capitals’ AHL affiliate Hershey before making his NHL debut in a game against Atlanta on Nov. 26. He scored his first NHL goal and also had an assist in a 2-1 win over Toronto on December 6 and remained with the Capitals through February before being returned to Hershey. Alzner finished with 1 goal and 4 assists in 30 games and was -1 with 2 PIM in 30 games with Washington. In 48 games with Hershey, he scored 4 goals with 16 assists and was +23 with 10 PIM. Alzner spent part of the Bears’ championship playoff run in Washington on stand by with the Capitals but did not see any action. He played 10 games for the Bears and had 2 assists and 2 PIM with an even plus/minus.

2009-10: Alzner once again split the season between Washington and Hershey – and also played in his first NHL playoff game. Alzner was recalled by the Capitals on November 26 after opening the season in Hershey and played 21 games during the regular season. He had 5 assists and was -2 with 8 PIM. Alzner saw his first playoff action in Game Seven of the Capitals’ first round series against Montreal. He played just over 15 minutes in Washington’s stunning loss. Canadiens’ goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped 42 shots in a 2-1 victory to complete Montreal’s comeback after having been down 3-1 in the series. The Capitals had the best record in the Eastern Conference and Montreal had finished eighth. 
Alzner had an enjoyable season with Hershey – with a more palatable outcome. He scored 3 goals with 18 assists and finished with the Bear’s third-best plus/minus (+34) in 56 games. In the playoffs, Alzner had 3 goals and 7 assists and was +7 with 4 PIM in 20 playoff games as Hershey defeated Texas to win the AHL’s Calder Cup.

Talent Analysis

Alzner is a smooth skating, mobile defenseman who has a strong sense of positional awareness. He does not have a highly-developed offensive game but relies on smart, quick passes and anticipation to both support the attack and to prevent opposing scoring chances. He is not a very physical player but is disciplined and rarely takes unnecessary penalties. Alzner plays a defense-first game but can contribute to the offense when the situation warrants.


Alzner has been knocking on the door of an NHL spot - splitting the last two seasons between the AHL and NHL as he adjusts to the pace and flow of the NHL game. With the Capitals a dominant, high flow team, Alzner is a candidate to provide a steady defensive presence on the backline and the discipline and balance that has sometimes been missing for Washington. Alzner figures to secure a lower line pair spot with the Capitals this season but projects as a top four defenseman in the future.