Photo Credit: Keith Dwiggins / Portland Winterhawks
Cross Hanas is a left winger playing for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. He grew up in the Highland Village, Texas (between Denton, Texas and Dallas, Texas). His father, Trevor Hanas played junior hockey for the Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades and the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Now, Trevor is the head coach of the Dallas Stars Elite and he is the Texas scout for the Portland Winterhawks.
Hanas has played the last two seasons for the Winterhawks. This past season, in 60 games played, he tallied 22 goals and 27 assists. It’s a major improvement from his rookie season in the WHL, in which he tallied 22 points in 67 games.
D.O.B – January 5, 2002
Nationality – USA / Canada, represents USA at international level
Draft Eligibility – 2020
Weight –165 lbs
Position – Left Wing
Handedness – Left
Hanas’ Style Of Play
Let’s kick off by looking at Hanas’ strengths. One of my favorite attributes that Hanas has is his spacial awareness. At times, it seems like Hanas has eyes on the back of his head because he knows exactly where his teammates are when they are behind him. In addition, he reads his attackers well and knows exactly what lanes will be open, so he can pass the puck through that lane to his teammate. For instance in a game against the Victoria Royals, Hanas delivered two passes behind his back. The first pass comes right after a controlled zone entry. Hanas sees three attackers in a triangle formation and he has two forwards rushing back to the defensive zone on his lower right. He anticipates that he will be boxed out by all of them, so he moves to the right and then delivers a behind the back pass to his teammate who comes into the zone. The second pass is right along the boards. Hanas has a couple of attackers who have sealed off the left and right sides, but they a sizable gap in the middle and Hanas exploits that. He delivers a backhand pass to his teammate and fellow 2020 NHL Draft eligible prospect Simon Knak.
Hanas’ hands are another one of his strengths. While there are times where Hanas has puck control issues and coughs up the puck, he still has plenty of moments where he manages to puck-handle around traffic and create scoring opportunities for himself.
In terms of Hanas’ passing ability, he is a pretty solid tape-to-tape passer and does extremely well at feeding seam passes through the slot. As I noted above, Hanas is also strong at backhand hand passing. Sure, there are instances in which Hanas will miss the mark on his passes, but that can be attributed to poor decision making as there are instances when Hanas will throw the puck into traffic.
Next, let’s talk about Hanas’ skating. His stride is a lengthy one, but since he has heavy feet his lengthy stride does not help him from a power skating perspective. In addition, his wide stride limits his ability to be more agile and mobile. His wider stride makes it a challenge for him to revert back if there is a sudden change in possession.
Due to his heavy foot stride, he has challenges when looking to complete crossovers on the rush. He has a hard time completing crossovers on the rush, which limits his speed. The crossovers do not appear to be well-balanced and Hanas seems to have challenges lifting one foot over the other. In the tweet below from Pavel Barber, you can check out Hanas going from zone-to-zone, showing off his stick-handling and scoring, but while you would anticipate that he would use crossovers to help propel him up the ice, he instead picks one foot up/places it down and repeats that movement over and over.
While crossovers are an area of weakness for Hanas, he does have strong foot work and manages to pull off quick pivots at opportune times. Using his strong foot work, he will make his opponents believe that he is doubling back, but instead, he has other plans. In the below clip from InStat Hockey, you will see Hanas pivot while doubling back and quickly firing a shot at the net for a goal.
When it comes to his defensive work, the Texan prospect has a lot of grit to his game. But, Hanas occasionally will struggle with following through with his poke-checks and has some balance issues delivering body checks along the boards. If Hanas goes in for a body check, his balance might seem a bit off.
But, there is plenty of time for Hanas to refine his physical play.
Benoit Pouliot, Left Wing, Retired (Played for Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres)
Sometimes choosing a good comparable can be tough, so I pulled up Byron Bader’s NHLe Player Comparison Tool for some assistance. The first player that came up as a comparable for Hanas is Pouliot. Like Hanas, Pouliot had quality hands and played with a ton of grit.
stats from InStat Hockey and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
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