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Ethan Hawes is a young Australian with NHL dreams

It took Australia’s Ethan Hawes 12,352km to fully adapt to the sport of ice hockey.When he was a child, his family moved to Seattle, USA, where his lifelong passion for the sport began. rice field.

Returning to his hometown of Newcastle this year, Hawes won Rookie of the Year in his first season in the Australian Ice Hockey League and helped the North Stars to the final.

He is one of Australia’s brightest ice hockey talents and will inspire you to follow your dreams with a firm eye on becoming just the second Australian to play in the National Hockey League.

“That’s the end goal, it’s always been, and I’ve never focused from there,” Ethan Hawes said. inner sanctuary.

“It’s something I’ve always strived for, and people who had that dream when they were younger take some distance from it and think it’s unrealistic.

“If anything, it just increased the motivation to make it happen, and I think it would be huge for Australian hockey to have another player reach that level.

“I have a lot of faith in myself and I know that if I keep working hard, I will eventually get there. [NHL]”

Ethan Hawes named 2022 AIHL Rookie of the Year. (Photo: Newcastle Northstars Facebook/AK Hockey Shots)

Local skating at the Hunter Ice Rink was all Hawes knew at an early age. It wasn’t even ice hockey related. It happened when Hawes got a true taste for sports when his family moved abroad.

At his father’s urging, Hawes, then eight, enrolled in a free hockey program at a local rink five minutes from his home. I didn’t enjoy it at first, but it only took him a week to get hooked.

“I hated every second of it,” Hawes said.

“So day seven is when I fell in love. Until that last day, I fell in love with the sport and have been ever since.

“We were there for three or four years before the family moved. [to Australia]I have stayed and traveled to play hockey in different states. ”

Growing up in Newcastle, playing for North Stars was a dream come true for Hawes. That was his first big goal, and it was a dream come true for him to be able to wear the suit for the first time this season.

He now stands by his childhood idols on the ice, highlighting how important the AIHL team is to the community.

“As a kid, I grew up in Newcastle. It was my NHL growing up before I moved to America,” continued Hawes.

“Even before I knew hockey abroad, the North Stars were my dream, so it was always my goal…playing a full season with them, personal success, team success and reaching the finals. advance.

“It was so special that every day I woke up pinching myself. I got to play with the players I looked up to when I was younger.”

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Hawes, who made camp for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League last season, was let go after playing five preseason games when things went wrong.

Considering he is highly regarded across North America, it was not surprising that he was announced as the AIHL’s Rookie of the Year this season.

“It’s nice to see hard work rewarded. You get to do small things that show you’re on the right track,” says Hawes.

“I have an incredibly strong team around me that has allowed me to do as well as I did in my first year. You couldn’t.

A defender who likes to handle the puck and isn’t afraid to step out of his zone and push his team forward, Hawes is an eye-catching player with great speed and skating ability. Much of his play is credited to his current Vegas Golden Knights player and friend He Shea Theodore.

It was an invaluable time spent in Theodore’s early years, shaping his game and becoming what Hawes described as his ice hockey mentor.

“I am honored to call him a friend now,” Hawes continued.

“He was my mentor growing up and I lived with him for a bit. He shaped my game more than anyone else in the world.

“I think our skating styles are pretty similar. It’s not a coincidence because he pretty much taught me how to actually skate. Now he’s in the NHL and has great success. I try to play like anyone else in the world.”

Ice hockey is now a career 365 days a year for Hawes, who currently plays for the VIJHL’s Oceanside Generals on Vancouver Island. A move to Europe or further opportunities in North America are both viable possibilities for his Hawes. A link-to-link lifestyle that’s perfect for him.

One thing that is guaranteed for 2023 is a return to hometown team Newcastle North Stars as they aim to help the club return to the Goodall Cup final.

“There is already a big part of my heart that I want to start next season,” Hawes said.

“I still carry the burn from that loss, and I don’t think it will ever leave me. He will return to the North Stars for the rest of his life and try to win as many cups as possible.

A boost for the Northstars and AIHL is the return of one of the country’s brightest stars to the ice hockey community that has already given so much.

Ethan Howes’ name sitting alongside Nathan Walker as an Australian player in the NHL – one can’t help but be excited about the prospect.

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