It’s been a busy year for Detroit Red Wings prospect Cross Hanas.
From a season split between the USHL and the WHL to finding out he’s been added to the Team USA World Junior Showcase roster, Hanas has his summer cut out for him.
Go represent, Cross! 🇺🇸
The @DetroitRedWings draft selection has been added to the @usahockey Summer Showcase roster – an event that serves as an evaluation for players seeking to represent their country at the 2022 IIHF #WorldJuniors.
— Portland Winterhawks (@pdxwinterhawks) July 7, 2021
“It was a tough year,” Hanas said in our interview. “The two leagues are pretty different, and their style of play is pretty different as a result. The USHL is much more defensive, while the WHL is more about making plays and generating offense.” Hanas references this change of pace as a key component to his game — and one of the main reasons he earned a spot on the WJC roster. In addition to his creativity with the puck, Hanas’ adaptability makes him an asset for coaches on the hunt for a versatile player.
Cross Hanas Added to World Juinor Roster
Hanas is one of 44 players invited to this year’s WJC. The Dallas native, selected 55th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, looks at this as a huge opportunity. “I’m hoping I can make a strong impression during the tournament — especially with the coaches. Most of all, though, it’s going to be real fun to play with guys I’ve known for a few years.”. Fellow Texas native Chase Yoder has also made the Team USA roster. A prospect of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Yoder and Hanas have played hockey together for years. “Yoder’s one of my best friends. It’d be a dream come true to have two Dallas players make the team.”
This season, Hanas split his time between the Lincoln Stars of the USHL and the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. He ended his USHL season with three goals, 13 assists, and 16 points in 27 games. He later rejoined the Winterhawks, scoring four points in six games. Additionally, his 99 PIMs rank 14th overall in the USHL in 2020-21. Coaches and teammates praise Hanas for his creativity on and off the puck, citing both as easy reasons why he was selected for Team USA.
Hanas Looks Ahead
One of the things Hanas prides himself on is his authenticity. While Evgeni Malkin has remained one of his favorite players, he’s made sure to forge his own path to professional hockey success. “I think, if I were to compare my playstyle to an NHL player, it’d be [Malkin] or Bo Horvat”.
Hanas will return to the WHL next year to play in his fourth season with the Winterhawks. “My biggest goal is to have a really good start to the season. How you start the season is how you build momentum. We’ve got a really good team next season and I think we have a chance to win it all.”
— The WHL (@TheWHL) October 8, 2020
Training is the name of the game this offseason. “It’s been a really big summer for me. I want to put on muscle mass and become a better skater for next year and the future.” The Red Wings have yet to release their Prospect Camp schedule or roster. He plans on spending his summer in Detroit alongside a few other prospects. The group has been fine-tuning their game in preparation for the end of the offseason and the start of Prospect Camp.
The 2021 World Junior Summer Showcase will take place July 24-31 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. The tournament itself will feature 11 games between Team USA, Sweden, and Finland’s potential players. If Hanas makes the cut, he will represent Team USA in this year’s International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Championships. In addition to practicing, preparation, and patience, Hanas brings positivity in droves. With a strong enough showing and another solid WHL season, Hanas may become a familiar face in Hockeytown.