HOUGHTON, Mich. - Just months after wrapping up his four-year career with the Michigan Tech hockey program, Tanner Kero opened the books on what many hope will be a lengthy career in the best hockey league in the world.
Kero, who captained the Huskies to the NCAA tournament last winter, made his National Hockey League debut tonight (Oct. 29) with the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hancock native played 11:40, notched four shots on goal and skated with Chicago's top players late in the game as the Blackhawks tried to mount a comeback against the Winnipeg Jets.
Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said during his postgame media availability that he liked Kero's play in the contest. Kero was called up earlier this week after a scorching start for the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs, where he's scored six times and added a pair of assists in seven outings en route to being named the AHL's Player of the Week on Oct. 25.
"We're excited for Tanner," said Michigan Tech head coach Mel Pearson. "He's earned it. He did a great job at Michigan Tech and worked hard to become the WCHA Player of the Year. It's an exciting time for Tanner and his family, and also exciting for Michigan Tech and Michigan Tech hockey. We're always trying to develop these young men as student-athletes and make it so they can hopefully realize their dreams of playing in the NHL."
Kero was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and earned WCHA Player of the Year honors in 2014-15 after collecting 46 points (20-26) in 41 games.
Kero and the Blackhawks are back in action tomorrow night (Oct. 30) when they travel to Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., to play the Wild.