Jake Hansen has 16 points (6g-10a) in 18 games this year.
GopherSports.com: Have you always played forward or did you ever play another position growing up?
Jake Hansen: The only time I have ever played goalie was in street hockey just messing around. In squirts my coach had me play defense for half a year because he wanted me to see the game from a defensive point of view. After that I went straight back to forward.
GS: You have scored some big goals during your career. Can you describe what it feels like to score a goal?
JH: At Mariucci or on the road, it feels incredible. For me that is why I play hockey. There is no better feeling in the world. Especially at Mariucci where you have 10,000 people standing up and cheering after you score. There is nothing better than celebrating with your fans. I cannot even explain how good it feels. There is nothing that can explain the adrenaline rush that goes through your body. It feels so good that you cannot explain it.
GS: You scored last year against Alaska Anchorage on a penalty shot. Did we see your go-to move or was that just spontaneous.
JH: In juniors I did not do that well in penalty shots. One time we were playing against Omaha and instead of going backhand I brought the puck across and went with a quick five-hole like I did against Alaska Anchorage. Before I would try to go backhand and upstairs across my body, but against Omaha in juniors I brought it across and went five-hole and it worked. It catches the goalies off guard and they do not know what to expect. I would try it out in practice against Kent and the guys and it would work. But then they could read it and know that it was coming. But for against Alaska Anchorage I knew right away what I was going to do. The ice was a little choppy and I did not want to over-handle the puck, so I knew exactly what I was going to do and it worked.
GS: You wear No. 21. Did you ask for that number or was it just given to you?
JH: My favorite high school player at White Bear Lake was Dan Bonne and he was No. 21. Brian Bonin also wore it and I am a big Brian fan and loved watching him play the game. A lot of people think I wear it because of him and you cannot go wrong with him because he was awesome. But when I was younger, I loved the way Dan Bonne played. I just enjoyed watching him in high school because he played with so much passion. I wore it in high school and wore it in juniors my second year. When I got here they asked what number I wanted and I said No. 21. Thankfully nobody had it, so it worked out.
GS: Rumor has it you are the best golfer on the team. When did you start hitting the links?
JH: I started playing golf when I was five years old. My dad has a passion for the game and we played a lot growing up. He taught me young and we played all the time during the summer. I did not play that much hockey during the summer because we were out on the course. I played high school golf as well. Even now there is nothing I enjoy more than playing golf in the summer.
Q: What is the best round you have ever had?
JH: I was either 11 or 12 and was playing in a state tournament for my age group. I shot 72 and won. That was probably the best round of golf that I have ever played. Everything was working that day and I was able to win the tournament.
GS: So would you say you are the best golfer on the team?
JH: I think I am one of the better players, but Seth Helgeson and Nico Sacchetti are both pretty good as well.