Richard Murray recently paid a visit to campus to talk some UMass hockey to feature several players on Hockey'sFuture.com, including this piece on junior defensman Joel Hanley.
Despite flying under the radar at times, Joel Hanley participated in the Columbus Blue Jackets' development camp this past summer, and he now looks to anchor the University of Massachusetts blue line this season.
Last season, Hanley scored seven goals and added 18 assists; he led all UMass defensemen in scoring with 25 points. So far this season, Hanley, has a goal and an assist in four gamesof play.
Hanley, a junior, has often flown under the radar because he is a smaller defensemen, standing at 6 feet tall. Although, not always being in the spotlight has also been a benefit because it has allowed him to just focus on playing his game.
"As a smaller defenseman people overlook you, and they don't think you have the physical strength or size," Hanley said. "You have to take it into account, but it is nice to be a little underrated sometimes. When the spotlight isn't on you all the time you can just do your thing out there."
At his smaller stature, Hanley has modeled his game around other, shorter offensive styled defenseman in the NHL like Mike Green.
"Green is a smaller offensive defensemen, and there are a lot of things I try to take out of his game," Hanley said. "I like his offensive ability, especially how he sees the game so well."
Hanley's vision on the ice is actually something that new UMass coach John Micheletto has noticed right away.
"I think he has a real good vision for the game, and he has an idea of what to do with the puck," Micheletto said. "One of his best assets is being able to see the big picture. While other players might only see one option, he can sort through his options quickly and still make the appropriate decision."
Read more of Hanley placing himself on the NHL's radar with offensive ability