MLive’s Ansar Khan profiles Wings second-round draft pick Cross Hanas this evening:
While football dominates the sports scene in Texas, kids play hockey there, too. Some have reached the NHL. That is where Cross Hanas hopes to be in a few years after being drafted in the second round (55th overall) this year by the Detroit Red Wings.
“What people really don’t know is in the Dallas area hockey is really growing and people have a real strong passion for the game,” Hanas said. “I have some Canadian roots and a lot of people who played hockey in my family, so it’s always been in my blood.”
Hanas had 22 goals and 27 assists in 60 games for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winter Hawks. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman called him a “smooth skating, skilled left winger” who has “a good nose around the net.”
“He’s a very skilled, smart player, great vision, really good hands, makes plays,” Portland coach Mike Johnston said. “Probably more of a passer than a shooter, but we’re trying to get more shot volume from him. The biggest area I think he’s improved in is his compete in those key areas, along the boards for a winger or in the offensive zone corners or at the net.
“As most young players who were really talented as kids, they rely on their offensive game. He’s learned the importance of being a more well-rounded player, paying attention to the defensive part of the game, killing penalties. Still, his strengths lean toward the skill, vision, playmaking side of things.”