CHICAGO, Ill., — This week, a former Michigan Tech hockey player has realized that his dreams of playing in the NHL have come true.
The Chicago Blackhawks announced yesterday that Hancock-native Tanner Kero has been called up to the main roster, after spending seven games down with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.
When the Huskies got a hold of the news, they were very proud of the former All-American.
“We’re excited for Tanner. We hope he gets a chance to play some games. Really excited for him and he’s earned it. He did a great job here at Michigan Tech as a player. He worked hard, became player of the year. He’s given himself a chance so good for him,” Pearson said.
“It’s kind of surreal. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I’m sure it will when I actually see him on the ice out there. I couldn’t be more proud of him. It’s just a dream come true for our whole family and obviously for him,” said Kero.
It’s a special moment for the Keros as his brother recollected on his childhood days with his older brother.
“When we were really little, obviously we’ve been skating since a young age and playing in the backyard rinks, out on the pond or whatever it is…we were always dreaming of being NHL players and it was always just a dream. I mean every little kid’s dream that plays hockey is to be in the NHL and for him to actually be achieving his dream, it’s crazy,” Kero said.
The Blackhawks will be in action tomorrow night in Winnepeg and Kero will make his NHL debut on the third line.
Kero, 23, has seven points (5G, 2A) in five games with the IceHogs this season. Earlier this week, the centerman was named CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 25 with three goals, an assist and a plus-5 rating over three tilts. Kero’s six goals rank third in the AHL and eight points are tied for 10th.
The Hancock, Mich., native notched eight points (6G, 2A) in seven regular-season games and three points (2G, 1A) over six playoff games with Rockford in his first professional campaign last year. Prior to signing with Chicago as a free agent on April 2, 2015, Kero paced the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Michigan Tech Huskies with a collegiate career-high 46 points (20G, 26A) in 41 games during his senior year; he also led the WCHA in points. A 2015 Hobey Baker nominee, Kero was also named the 2014-15 WCHA Player of the Year, WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year and to the All-WCHA First Team. Kero totaled 111 points (55G, 56A) in 153 contests over four years at Michigan Tech.
Prior to his collegiate career, Kero tallied 37 points (13G, 24A) in 55 games during the 2010-11 season with the United States Hockey League’s Fargo Force; he was also named to the USHL Western Conference All-Star Team.