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Houghton, MI - Hancock native, Tanner Kero is preparing to begin his third season with the Chicago Blackhawks. But Wednesday, Kero took time off from training to help coach young players at the Michigan Tech Youth Hockey Camp.
After rising to stardom as a member of the Michigan Tech Hockey team, Tanner Kero returned to the ice of MacInnes Student Ice Arena. This time it was to coach young players at the same camp that he attended as a kid.
Tanner Kero, former Michigan Tech Husky and current Chicago Blackhawk said, "You got to come out in the summer, you had a few buddies with you. You know, you had a lot of fun. You were on the ice two, three times a day and you were working on different skills, you did some off ice stuff. I think it was a great way for kids to just come out and learn a few things and kind of fine tune some stuff in the summer before their season starts."
Kero has spent this offseason training for the upcoming NHL season. He's hoping to work his way into a bigger role with the Blackhawks in his third year.
"I want to be a little more explosive. You know the D, especially the defensemen in the National Hockey League, they're so good, they're so quick with their sticks and in the corners. So, you want to be as fast as you can, in and out of the corners, coming out of turns. So, trying to fine tune that a little bit. Work on some shooting and just overall strength," said Kero.
Kero is cherishing the opportunity to play for one of the best coaches in the NHL in Joel Quenneville
Talking about Coach Quenneville, Kero said, "He makes you want to work hard everyday and try to get better. So, to be able to play under him and try to get more responsibility and more ice time and just keep working hard and playing my game and try to do all the little things right so i can earn his trust and earn more ice time and more opportunity and try to take advantage of that."
Kero also gets a chance to play with some of the best players in the world in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
"Its been kind of a surreal experience. You know, especially early on, your just looking around the locker room and see those big names, you know, future Hall Of Famers.They've been great. They're really good with the young guys. They teach a few things and give you pointers along the way. So, its been fun to kind of watch them and learn and try to just adjust your game and see how hard they work on and off the ice and just how hard they work. It motivates you to push yourself and try to get better," said Kero about his superstar teammates.
Kero and the Blackhawks begin their season on October 5th against the Pittsburgh Penguins