Part 6 of our Meet Your Freshmen series features a local kid returning to the hometown Huskies. Tanner Kero played locally for the Hancock Bulldogs. After his Lake Superior Conference MVP season for the 2008–09 Bulldogs, he headed to the Marquette Rangers for 2009–10, where he dominated NAHL competition with 32 goals and 51 points in 57 games. In his final year of junior hockey he joined the Fargo Force (USHL), where he had a good year that helped him prepare for the WCHA. Kero comes to Michigan Tech with high expectations among locals who followed his career in Hancock and beyond. Through his first 10 games as a Husky, he’s lived up to anything people could have expected. His 4 goals so far has him tied for first place with four other Huskies.
Hometown: Hancock, Michigan
Last Team: Fargo (USHL)
THG: Why did you decide to come to Michigan Tech? Who else wanted you to play for them?
Tanner Kero (TK): I grew up watching the Huskies and I never had a doubt in my mind that I wanted to play for them. I love playing in my home town and love having my friends and family so close and have them watch and support me. A few other colleges unofficially talked to me, but I never considered anywhere but MTU.
THG: Which team are you most excited to beat this season?
TK: It would have to be North Dakota, I played in Fargo last year and heard from my coach and teammates how great they are, so it would be so sweet to beat them.
THG: What are your hockey goals for this season? after Michigan Tech?
TK: Have a good season and help the team as much as possible. Hopefully we can have a great year and be one of the top teams in the WCHA. I have to stay focused on my years at Tech first and then see where it leads me.
THG: Which older Husky player on the team is your mentor?
TK: Jordan Baker, he has been around the team for a few years now and he knows how to act on and off the ice. He is always willing to help me out and answer any questions I have.
THG: What do you think of new head coach, Mel Pearson?
TK: Coach Pearson is a great coach, he has a well balanced attitude and knows a lot about the sport. He makes sure we have the right attitude both on and off the ice, and pushes us everyday to get better.
THG: What do you think of the new college hockey landscape (formation of Big Ten & NCHC)?
TK: Personally I am not a fan of the new league formation, because the WCHA is such a great league. However, we are going to do well these next few years and we will end up in a good league at the end.
THG: What do you bring to the team, where do you feel you contribute the most?
TK: I am going to try and be a solid two-way player, a playmaker on offense and a good shut down center on defense.
THG: What aspect of your game do you think needs the most improvement to help improve your game for the college level?
TK: I have to build up my strength and quickness. The college level has a lot of big and fast players, and I will need to be able to hold my own and use speed to make plays.
THG: How have you been preparing for the jump from junior hockey to WCHA hockey?
TK: I have been doing a lot of weight training over the summer, shooting pucks as much as possible, and doing many quick feet drills.
THG: Who is your biggest influence in hockey?
TK: My Parents have been the biggest influence in my hockey development over the years. They have helped me decide where I want to play, and make sure I am making the right decisions off the ice. They have sacrificed a lot in their lives to help me. I cannot thank them enough.
THG: Does the energy and noise level of the crowd affect the way you play?
TK: The louder the crowd, the better. Having loud and supportive fans helps so much. It gets you in a great mood and motivates you to do well.
THG: What is your major at Michigan Tech?
TK: I am majoring in Exercise Science.
THG: What do you know about Mitch’s Misfits or TechHockeyGuide.com?
TK: I have not been to a Tech game in a few years, but I think the Misfits are some of our biggest fans and love hockey and the huskies. The TechHockeyGuide website follows the hockey huskies throughout the year and updates fans everywhere on news and excitement.
THG: Who are you rooming with this year? Tell me something fun about your roommate!
TK: I am going to be living with my cousin Blake Hietala. Blake takes his video games very serious, especially NHL. He may shed a tear if he loses.
THG: Recite your favorite movie quote… and just in case, tell me what movie it’s from.
TK: I’m not a big movie quote guy but here’s a pretty good one……….. “Are the rumors of you and Kim Kardashian true?”… “no comment…but yes!” – The Other Guys
THG: What road trip are you most looking forward to this season?
TK: I cannot wait to go to North Dakota.
THG: Where is your favorite place to eat in the Houghton/Hancock area?
TK: My favorite place to eat would have to be the Suomi. Great breakfast food!
THG: What’s your favorite genre of music?
TK: Modern Country Music.
THG: Who is the craziest guy on the team?
TK: The craziest guy is definitely Tyler Gubb.
THG: Finally, what would you like to say to all of the Michigan Tech faithful?
TK: Thank you for all the continued support and confidence in our team. I cannot wait to play in front of all the great fans, and hope everyone can come out and support us and help get us on the right track. Lets make this a great season and the season everyone looks at as being the turning point for the Michigan Tech Huskies.