Kero Settling Back In With IceHogs

ROCKFORD - The IceHogs are where young hockey players get their first chance at pro hockey. The IceHogs are also a team that gives players a second or third chance to prove themselves. Tanner Kero is getting one of those chances right now.

Kero first burst onto the scene with the IceHogs by scoring goals in five of his first six games. That was in April of 2014...three and a half years ago.  Now's he's hoping to regain that form of a playmaker. 

The Blackhawks sent Kero down to the IceHogs last Thursday after he struggled to earn ice time in  Chicago.  He appeared in only eight games.  He sat out the last ten inactive.

"It was obviously a little tough when you're not getting in the lineup and not playing," said Kero Tuesday after a morning skate. "You just had to go to work every day and make sure you're doing all the things right to give yourself that best shot to get back in."

But that shot wasn't coming in Chicago...not anytime soon and with the Blackhawks struggling at the time changes needed to be made. Kero was sent down and IceHogs' leading scorer Vinnie Hinostroza was promoted.

"Obviously when the team hasn't been doing too well you might have to change things up," says Kero. "Unfortunately I wasn't playing a lot. I think they just wanted me to come down and get some games in. Obviously Vinnie was doing really well down here. He deserved a shot to go up there and prove what he can do. I've got to try to do the same thing."

Kero has split the last two seasons between Rockford and Chicago so switching teams isn't anything new for him. Kero is playing center with the IceHogs with high-scoring rookie Matthew Highmore and Luke Johnson on his wings.

"We moved Highmore to the wing," said IceHogs coach Jeremy Colliton. "I thought he was real good in Traverse City there, and I think that line can be real hard to play against. Physical, gritty, and take pucks to the net."

"I think the key here is there's a lot of young guys, a lot of fast guys, and I think the tempo has been great," says Kero. "It's a good atmosphere to come to."

 


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