Hanzal was a 1st round pick in the 2005 draft by the Phoenix Coyotes. He is a Czechoslovakia native and played his juniors with the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL. Hanzal has spent 11 years in the NHL and will begin his 12th season on Friday night at the American Airlines Center. He spent the bulk of his career with Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes and spent half a season with the Minnesota Wild. He has a career total of 126 goals and 210 assists.
In his first season with Dallas, he recorded five goals and five assists in 38 games. Injuries plagued Hanzal’s first season in Dallas and his 2017-2018 season was cut short for a spinal fusion surgery. After over 8 months of recovery, Hanzal appears to be ready to return. He has been skating with the team the past few weeks and was taken off injured reserve the other day. He will reportedly be centering the 2nd line in Friday’s game against San Jose.
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Hanzal will help out on both the powerplay as a big body in front of the net and as a penalty killer. He is also another guy that can win faceoffs when you need him to.
For Friday’s game he is set to center the second line between Devin Shore and Jason Spezza. While Hanzal is just one of many of the guy that are injured for the Stars, it is good to see him get back in action after the injury he suffered late last year.
With Hanzal being activated and put in the Stars lineup the Stars made two corresponding moves. Forward Gemel Smith was put on waivers and was claimed by the Boston Bruins and forward Roope Hintz was sent to the Texas Stars in the AHL.
Cover photo credit: Defending Big D
Chris Bugajsky covers the Dallas Stars for Full Press Coverage. Follow Chris on twitter @CBugajsky14.