HUMBOLDT — With extensive junior hockey playing experience, Humboldt Broncos new assistant coach Carter Hansen is excited to learn “the other side of the game.”
“I played in the [Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League] about six years ago but now I get to experience it as a coach,” the 26-year-old Craven product said. “As well, I also get to learn from Scott [Barney] who has been coaching here for numerous years and, as you can tell from his hockey resume, he knows the game of hockey. I think that's what I'm looking most forward to is learning the game of hockey even better from someone who's been there and done that on a pro level.”
On the staff led by Barney, the team’s head coach and general manager as well as a former National Hockey League player, Hansen takes over for Curtis Toneff for the rest of the season. The latter is now the head coach of the B.C. Hockey League's Merritt Centennials. Assistant coach Rhett Blackmur continues with the team.
Hansen capped his junior career by helping the Melfort Mustangs win the 2016 SJHL title. After that season, which also saw him suit up for the Melville Millionaires, Hansen played two years at the University of Regina. Prior to his time in the SJHL, Hansen spent four seasons in the Western Hockey League. He played both forward and defence for the Moose Jaw Warriors and Regina Pats.
“We are really excited to have Carter on board,” Barney said on the team’s website. “Obviously, he has a great playing resume in the Western Hockey League. In addition, we wanted to bring in someone with a winning culture into the organization and Carter fits that mould.”
This past fall Hansen joined the Regina Capitals of the Junior B Prairie Junior Hockey League as an assistant coach. He loved it. Hansen told a friend “if I could do this every day, that’d be amazing.”
Through hockey connections, he was put in touch with the Broncos and now has the opportunity to coach fulltime.
“What I enjoyed most in my time with the Capitals was seeing the progress of the team overall,” said Hansen, who has played senior hockey in Lumsden for four seasons. “Seeing all the work that coaches and players put in together towards a common goal and seeing that progression. Seeing the team get better as a whole was definitely something I quite enjoyed with my time with the Capitals.”
In his lone season playing at the Junior A level, Hansen won a championship. He brings that experience and what he learned in 251 major junior games in the WHL to the Broncos. “I feel like these two junior leagues both provide their own challenges and game planning and I feel that my experience can add a wrinkle to our team that will overall make us harder to play against,” he said.
Many junior hockey players are hoping to make it to the post-secondary ranks. Hansen made the move from junior to the U Sports ranks with the U of R Cougars.
“[U Sports] is a great hockey league and I feel like I can help guys looking to play in that league how they can improve themselves now to make that jump up to [U Sports] that much easier,” he said.