Anchorage’s Tanner Sorenson has always done whatever it took to play pro hockey, a tribute to his desire to chase his dream.
That grind has put him in position to shine with the Vancouver Canucks.
The 26-year-old center was invited to the NHL team’s training camp this weekend in British Columbia, Canada, as a new member of the Utica Comets, the AHL-affiliate of the Canucks.
Sorenson’s signed a two-way AHL deal with Utica and the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL.
“I’m starting camp in Utica, so the main goal is to start the year there. With the season, you have ups and downs, but I’d love to get a chance in Utica for a handful of games to show what I’ve got. If I’m down in Kalamazoo, then I want to build upon last year, where everything seemed to go well,” he told uticacomets.com.
“I think anything you can do to build off the previous year is good, so that’s where I like to set my goals.”
The former Michigan State University standout is coming off his finest pro season after posting career-high totals of 22 goals, 42 assists and 64 points in 55 games with the K-Wings.
His career has come full circle in Kalamazoo. He played there right there his rookie season and then came back for his fourth season. In between he made stops in Kazakhstan and Switzerland, two places off the radar for most American players.
The international experience was humbling, insightful and only strengthened his resolve to play pro hockey. All the while he sharpened his skills and improved his game, giving an assist to Kalamazoo coach Nick Bootland for getting him on the right track.
“Booter developed me, trained me and helped me grow,” Sorenson said.
The results are remarkable.
In his first 63 pro games, Sorenson averaged 0.46 points per game with 15-14—29 totals.
In the last 179 games, he has a 0.80 points per game average with 62-81—143 totals.
Funny enough, though, it’s his improvement on defense that has paved his promotion.
“I’d say I bring a lot of offense to the table but want to be relied on as a two-way player as well,” Sorenson said.