Thunderbirds alum Hansen making mark in goal out east with EHL’s Philadelphia Hockey Club
Nick Hansen was bound to play junior hockey in Philadelphia one way or another.
Last season, the talented goaltender signed a tender with the NCDC’s Philadelphia Hockey Club and planned on heading east this season.
When the NCDC team left the USPHL during the offseason, an EHL team was created and Hansen signed to play there.
“The facility is great,” said Hansen of the Hollydell Ice Center. “We got a good setup and we have a good, skilled, hard-working team. I got a pretty busy schedule with a 1:30-1:45 p.m. practice every day and then a 45-minute workout. When I’m not at the rink with the team, I’m normally just back at the billet house doing schoolwork.
“I live in a nice area about 30 minutes outside of Philly and it’s quiet and calm.”
Hansen said his top goal this season is a simple one.
“My priority is to continue developing and working on my game to move up to a higher level of juniors either this season or next season,” Hansen said.
Born in South Korea and adopted when he was born, Hansen was just a year old when he came to the United States to grow up in Arizona, where he has lived his whole life.
“After playing for the Jr. Coyotes program for 7-8 years, I decided it was time for change,” said Hansen. “I had some friends that I’ve made over the years doing summer camps and tournaments from all over and they played on the Colorado Thunderbirds and they told me I should come try out, so I did and ended up playing there for the first time my 16U season.”
Hansen also played on the Thunderbirds’ 18U team before coming to Philadelphia.
“The Thunderbirds coach that has had the biggest impact on me was David Clarkson,” Hansen said. “He really pushed me past my limits. I think he knew I had more in me at times and pushed me to understand how to give it my all each and every day, on and off the ice.”
Looking ahead, Hansen sees continuous advancement.
“My short-term goal in hockey would probably just to make it to the next level and to hopefully one day play NCAA Division I college hockey,” said Hansen. “I would like to go to school to pursue a business degree. Then long term would to be able to play professional hockey somewhere and make it my full-time job and career.”
Photo/Dan Hickling/Hickling Images
— Matt Mackinder
(November 7, 2022)