By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – As the Minotauros seventh season draws near it is time to start meeting the players heading to Minot for training camp. Camp opens September 3rd and the pre-season opens on September 9th against the Bismarck Bobcats at the Maysa Arena. We continue meeting the team with forward Sam Hanson.
Hanson joins the Tauros from the Wisconsin high school ranks where he posted 63 points in 69 games for Eau Claire Memorial High. Hanson finished third in scoring with 16 goals and 12 assists for the Old Abes who finished second in their division behind yesterday’s Meet the Tauros feature Aaron Grounds’s Hudson Raiders.
Hanson and Grounds were rivals during the regular season but teammates on Team Wisconsin in the Fall Elite League which Hanson eluded to when talking about Grounds, “The rivalry is nothing more than two high school players playing hard. We played on Team Wisconsin together this past year and on several summer teams. We love playing with each other, aaron is a great player and makes for a great line mate. I am excited to compete with and against him at camp.” Similarly Grounds had nothing but praise for Hanson “The kid is a work horse, he’s decided hockey is something he wants to make a life out of and no one is stopping him from doing it.” If the duo can click as linemates again in the NAHL they could provide the Tauros with one of their bigger lines in team history. Both players stand 6’2” tall, Hanson is 187 lbs. and Grounds 175. Playing for Team Wisconsin last season Hanson post 8 goals and 6 assists over 21 games.
The Tauros Head Coach and General Manager Marty Murray and Assistant General Manager Chris Lonke both like Hanson’s size and dedication to playing in every zone. “Sam plays a very honest 200ft game! We see able to play a strong physical game and make shifts tough on opponents,” said Lonke. Murray also complemented Hanson’s understanding of the game, “Sam really grew on our staff as our main camp progressed. He is one of those players, that the more you watch him, the more you appreciate what he brings to the table. He moves well for a big guy, and I see him being a shutdown type player, that excels in the face-off circle and could play a pivotal role on our penalty kill.”
When evaluating himself Hanson was in agreement with the coaches, “My style of play is hard-nosed, two-way forward, that makes plays all over the ice.” His goal with the Tauros aside from winning the Robertson Cup are to “become a faster, and more skilled forward.”
Hanson cited the Minot fans’ reputation as a reason he is coming to the Magic City, “Minot has hockey tradition and the town is very supportive to the players and the [billet] family’s help improve the players.”
Come back tomorrow when we will meet Blake Johnson. Do not miss your chance to see Hanson and all of the Tauros in game action for the first time September 9th at 7:35 at the Maysa Arena when the Bismarck Bobcats come to Minot to open the pre-season.