Hockey in Big D is A-OK for Red Wings second-rounder Cross Hanas

Detroit News

Ted Kulfan
| The Detroit News

Meet Cross Hanas, the last of the Red Wings’ three second-round draft choices last month.

Hanas, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound offensively skilled left wing, is from that hockey hotbed of … Dallas.

Say what?

Yes, Dallas. In the football-mad state of Texas. Home of the Cowboys and Friday Night Lights. 

But it’s also home to a rapidly growing hockey culture, too, that is beginning to impact the NHL.

Hanas was quick to point out last month after being selected by the Wings that this growing hockey base has seen players such as Seth Jones (Columbus), Blake Coleman (Tampa) and Tyler Myers (Vancouver) emerge.

And now, Cross Hanas.

“Dallas-area hockey is actually growing and there’s a lot of real passion for the game,” Hanas said. “For me, I have some Canadian roots and have a lot of people who played hockey in my family, so it was always in my blood.

“But here in Dallas, we have a lot of great coaches and it’s awesome.”

Hanas is a product of the Dallas Stars’ youth league, where those other present-day NHL players grew up in the game, as well.

Hanas is honored to be the latest player to be drafted out of the Dallas youth system.

“For me it’s a huge honor,” Hanas said. “I did grow up here in Dallas and my dad has been a coach of the elite team here. A lot of kids in the program, they kind of look up to me as a kid who is always around the rink and watching me.

“And that was me growing up and watching (Jones and Coleman).”

Hanas was coached by his father, Trevor Hanas, in the Dallas Stars youth league. Trevor played junior hockey in the Western Hockey League (WHL), where Cross is playing, with Portland.

Hanas played with the sons of former Dallas Stars players Stephane Robidas and Joe Nieuwendyk (sons Justin and Jackson, respectively) while playing in the Stars program.

Hanas remembers going into the Stars locker room and getting autographs from players and growing up as a big fan of the team. 

But that’s all changed now that’s he’s a part of the Red Wings organization.

Many draft projections had Hanas being drafted in the third or fourth round after Hanas had 22 goals and 27 assists in 60 games for Portland.

But what the Wings, and some other intrigued talent evaluators saw, was a rapidly improving offensive player who is a deft passer and puckhandler.

“He’s a smooth skating, skilled left winger, (and has) a good nose around the net,” said general manager Steve Yzerman. 

As an example of his offensive capabilities, and on-ice confidence, Hanas attempted some lacrosse-style goals last season.

“It’s something I’ve always worked on in practice,” said Hanas. “I always kind of joke around with my dad saying, ‘Mark my words, I’m going to do this in a game.’

“Sure enough, I saw the opportunity to do it this year a couple times and thank goodness it worked.

“Confidence is huge. When I’m playing with confidence, I’m going pretty good.”

Hanas talked with the Wings several times leading up to the draft and was hoping he’d land in Detroit with the 55th pick overall, when it was time for the Wings to use their third second-round pick.

“Detroit showed a lot of interest in me and I was excited (about being drafted by the Wings),” Hanas said. “They were one of my top teams that I had a good feeling about.”

Heading into the next couple years, it’ll be important for Hanas to add some muscle to that 170-pound frame. It’s something Hanas has worked on all summer, waiting out the pandemic and the start of the WHL season, possibly next month.

“I’ve kind of grown a little taller than I’ve filled into my frame” Hanas said. “I put on a good amount of weight from 165 to 175, just putting on strength in my legs and everywhere else. That has been my main focus.

“The skating can always get better and needs to get better if you want to play in the NHL.”

Surgery for McIssac 

Defenseman Jared McIsaac, a Red Wings 2018 second-round draft pick, continues to be plagued with injuries.

McIsaac had surgery on his left shoulder last week, the Wings announced Monday – a little over a year after having surgery on his right shoulder (June 2019).

The procedure was performed by Dr. Kyle Anderson at Unasource Surgery Center in Troy, the Wings said, with recovery time expected to be five to six months.

 McIsaac was playing for HPK, a pro team in Finland, one of many Wings prospects who are playing in Europe as the pandemic closes pro leagues in North America.

Playing in 28 games last season in junior, McIsaac had four goals and 15 assists between Halifax and Moncton in the Quebec junior league.

McIsaac was slated to play for Grand Rapids once the American League season begins in February.

Twitter: @tkulfan

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