Rookie Dante Hannoun

Royals rookie skating solidly in the shadows

Centre Dante Hannoun a quick study in rookie season with Victoria Royals

In the mire of the Royals’ recent rejig adding high-profile WHLers Alex Forsberg and Greg Chase, life has been less flashy for 16-year-old Dante Hannoun.

The kid from North Delta has quietly turned into a responsible fourth line centre, and is in the midst of an ideal rookie season in the WHL.

It didn’t start out that way, as there were no guarantees Hannoun, the Royals’ 11th overall pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, would pan out as a guaranteed starter with 20 games remaining in the regular season.

“It was a struggle to teach him at the beginning but he’s improved a lot,” said assistant coach Enio Sacilotto. “He’s faster, stronger and more confident since the start of the season.”

Gifted players such as Hannoun aren’t forced to be as defensively responsible at the younger levels, where their skill level allows them to compensate for mistakes, Sacilotto said. Not only do they have to learn that part of the game, they have to do it while adjusting to the pace and structure of the WHL game.

“It’s just moving my feet, always, that’s been the biggest thing from the start, otherwise I won’t be playing,” Hannoun said. “The first half of the season I was a little nervous, but now I know what to expect. I’m better prepared and getting ready for the playoffs.”

The Grade 11 Vic High student scored his first goal versus the Kamloops Blazers on Sept. 27 and his second didn’t come until Dec. 28 against the Prince George Cougars. But there’s no worry, said Sacilotto. He’s just another 16 year old who will find his offensive game in time.

“Right now it’s just a focus on defence and if you find those open spots offensively, you tackle them,” Hannoun said.

Over the course of the recent three-game road trip to Washington, Hannoun centred Jack Palmer, Jared Dmytriw and Brandon Fushimi, though it fluctuates as players cycle through the lineup.

Last week, Hannoun made his first appearance for the Royals in Portland, where he played Winterhawks great Nic Petan. The two are first cousins. Petan, property of the Winnipeg Jets, let Hannoun win a face-off – the first and last time the Royals’ rookie will get any favours against the Winterhawks.

Dante’s big brother Demico (1995) is committed to Michigan Tech (NCAA Div. 1) next year. He has 35 points in 42 games with the powerhouse Penticton Vees, dominating the B.C. Hockey League with a record of 37-7-4.

The Royals’ have three 1998-born players on the roster, forwards Dante Hannoun and Jared Dmytriw, and defenceman Ralph Jarratt.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

UPDATED: Commercial truck clips lines in Saanich

BC Hydro called, determines lines are cable and phone, not power

Downtown Victoria businesses cite parking issues as top challenge

A report put forward by the Downtown Victoria Business Association asked owners for input

Victoria teen killed by falling tree, remembered as hero

Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling towards him and his friends

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

Tiny Yorkshire terrier Poppie survives days on remote island

ROAM rescue crews, family searched for dog, missing in Saanich for days

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

B.C. judge defies lawyers and adds six months to man’s sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

Man presumed dead after boat capsizes in Columbia River

Search and rescue efforts recovered a life jacket

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

Most Read