At the end of January, Michigan Tech added the commitment of Demico Hannoun, a forward who currently plays for the Surrey Eagles (BCHL) and is the younger cousin of this year's leading scorer, Alex Petan. In Alex Gillies' commitment article, we mentioned Hannoun because Gillies and Hannoun were two of only three 16-year-old forwards to hit double digits in goals during the 2011–12 BCHL season, along with RPI recruit, Evan Tironese. This year, all three players are top 40 in goals scored. By comparison, the 2010–11 class of 16-year-olds to hit double digits in goals includes Jujhar Khaira (Michigan Tech), Morgan Zulinick (Wisconsin), Brandon Morley (Alaska), Evan Richardson (Boston College). It appears that players who hit that mark at 16 tend to be highly coveted recruits. Hannoun is tied for fourth on his team in goals, with 14 despite being the youngest player on the team. He's also tied for 40th in the league in goals. His point total is good for eighth on the Eagles in scoring with 32.
Hannoun played two seasons for the North Delta Bantam A1 team where he was considered by many to be one of the best forwards in the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association, along with his cousin and current WHL star Nicolas Petan. That ranking was backed up by the fact that Hannoun was drafted by the Regina Pats in the WHL bantam draft. His rights were recently traded to the Victoria Royals but reports of that trade look favorable for Michigan Tech because the North Delta, British Columbia, native has declined invitations to attend training camp with the Pats for the last two years and was exploring his NCAA options at the time of the trade last September.
After being drafted by the Pats, Hannoun spent a year with the Greater Vancouver Canadians (BCMML) where he was tied for third on his team in scoring and 15th in the league in points ahead of Alex Gillies. His 17 goals and 41 points in regular season helped the Canadians to a top four finish with a 23–11–6 record. That great season helped Hannoun land with Surrey in the BCHL, and right now the Eagles have clinched a playoff spot and currently sit in first place in the Mainland Division with five games left in the regular season.
Eagles Head Coach and GM Matt Erhart said, "It's great for the program and great for Demico. He's a player that was highly sought after because of his age, skill level and abilities. We're excited for him. I think it can be a weight off his shoulders now that he knows where he's going." Below is audio of Hannoun after his commitment:
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Since Hannoun is only 17, he will be eligible for the 2014 NHL draft, and depending on his development, he could be a sleeper in the later rounds. The 5'11" forward is penciled in to head to Houghton for the 2014–15 season but with his age and other commitments on the books for Michigan Tech, it seems more likely that Hannoun will have to wait until Fall 2015 to play college hockey in the WCHA. It is still a bit uncertain when anyone will come in, including the eight players that signed NLIs this fall. It appears obvious that Coach Pearson fully expects some of his current players won't last a full four seasons due to pressures from NHL clubs for the likes of Jujhar Khaira and David Johnstone so that could really change the timeline for a player like Demico Hannoun. In the end, Coach Pearson and his staff have done a great job of finding another younger forward with a scoring touch and a huge ceiling to choose Michigan Tech over other schools. It's another great sign for the direction the team is headed as they transition to an ever changing college hockey landscape.
When Tech Hockey Guide learned that Demico Hannoun had committed to Michigan Tech, it became clear that one of the best tools for recruiting in Houghton is family. As previously mentioned, Hannoun is the younger cousin of current freshman standout Alex Petan and family members being a part of the same Husky team is pretty common. Chad and Blake Pietila are brothers and their older cousin Aaron Pietila is also on the team. David and Jacob Johnstone are also brothers, plus Blake Hietala and Tanner Kero are cousins too. Future Husky Tyler Heinonen is also related to the Pietilas. We're not sure who else is left to continue the family tradition and whether this will continue but any advantage Michigan Tech can use to get quality players to choose the black and gold is a good thing.
*Featured Image provided courtesy of Garrett James Photography