2003-born defenseman Jeremy Hanzel signed a WHL standard player agreement with the Seattle Thunderbirds on Tuesday; Seattle placed Hanzel on its protected list this past October.
A B.C. native, Hanzel played 38 games for the Vancouver NE Chiefs in the BCMML this season and finished with 34 points (4 goals, 30 assists).
“I have heard lots of great things about Seattle,” said Hanzel. “I came down for a practice and game in November and the atmosphere was amazing. The coaches were great and the arena and fans were awesome.
“I feel I am an offensive defenseman that sees the ice well. I want to get bigger, stronger and quicker to get ready for next season. Thank you to my parents and all my past coaches who have helped get me to this point.”
Hanzel had 35 points (9 goals, 26 assists) in 29 games for the Chiefs minor midget team in 2019. A league all-star in 2019, he also played for the BC Junior Canucks in the Brick tournament (2013) and for the Chiefs in the Macs Tournament this past season.
“Jeremy is an intelligent, puck-moving defenseman who excels on the power play,” said La Forge. “He will be a great compliment to our current defensive core as well as to Kevin Korchinski and Spencer Penner.
“Jeremy choosing to develop in the WHL is a big win for us and great work by our entire scouting staff to identify a player who will contribute for us when Thunderbirds hockey resumes.”