Joel Hanley


Keswick Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:








Signed as free agent, 2015.


180 lbs.

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2006-07: Joel Hanley skated for the York Simcoe Express midget minor team and was selected by the London Knights in the ninth round (180th overall) in the 2007 OHL Priority Draft.

2007-08: Hanley appeared in two junior A games with the Newmarket Hurricanes as a 16-year-old and played for the York Simcoe Express midget team in Ontario. He had no points nor penalties in two games with the Hurricanes.

2008-09: Hanley was named the rookie of the year in the Central Division of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in his first season with Newmarket. He scored 14 goals with 24 assists and 61 penalty minutes in 50 games for the Hurricanes. Newmarket missed the playoffs, finishing fifth in the Central Division.

2009-10: Hanley was limited to 23 regular season games in his second season with Newmarket but played a key role for the Hurricanes in the playoffs. He scored 5 goals with 15 assists and was +2 with 11 penalty minutes in the regular season as Newmarket finished second in the West Division of the re-christened Central Canada Hockey League. The Hurricanes reached the OHA Championship series, falling to Oakville. Hanley scored 4 goals with 9 assists and 12 penalty minutes in 19 playoff games. He signed a national letter of intent to play college hockey at Massachusetts-Amherst in November 2009.

2010-11: Hanley skated in 28 of 35 games for the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in his freshman season and was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for the Minutemen. The 19-year-old scored 3 goals with 15 assists and was -5 with 24 penalty minutes. Massachusetts-Amherst qualified for the Hockey East playoffs despite winning just six games and was swept by eventual national champion Boston College in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

2011-12: Hanley was the fourth-leading scorer for Massachusetts-Amherst in his sophomore season, leading all Minutemen defensemen with 25 points in 36 games. He scored 7 goals with 18 assists and was +12 with 18 penalty minutes. The Minutemen were tied for eighth with Northeastern but advanced to the Hockey East tournament due to tiebreaker criteria and were again swept by Boston College in the quarterfinals.

2012-13: Hanley was one of three defensemen to top 15 points for Massachusetts-Amherst under first-year coach John Micheletto. He scored 5 goals with 11 assists and was +1 with 46 penalty minutes in 33 games as a junior. The Minutemen missed the Hockey East tournament after finishing in ninth place.

2013-14: Hanley made his professional hockey debut with the AHL’s Portland Pirates in April following his senior season at Massachusetts-Amherst. He had 5 assists and was -4 with 6 penalty minutes in 15 regular season games for Portland. Hanley scored 2 goals with 14 assists in 34 games in his senior season at UMass and was -10 with 39 penalty minutes. The Minutemen finished 10th in the expanded Hockey East Conference, falling 2-1 to seventh-place Vermont in a tournament play-in game.

2014-15: Hanley skated in the Arizona Coyotes’ rookie camp but was not signed to a contract and returned to the AHL’s Portland Pirates for his first pro season. Briefly assigned to the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators in October, he skated in 63 regular season games for Portland, scoring 2 goals with 15 assists and finishing +7 with 34 penalty minutes. In five AHL playoff games he was +1 with 1 assist and no penalties. Hanley scored 1 goal and was +2 in his three-game stint with Gwinnett. The Montreal┬áCanadiens┬ásigned Hanley to a one-year entry-level contract as an undrafted free agent in July 2015.

2015-16: Hanley made his NHL debut with the Canadiens in a March 20th game against Calgary, receiving a late season call-up after playing 64 games with the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps in his second pro season. He had 6 assists in 10 games with Montreal and had an even plus/minus with no penalties, averaging 16 minutes of ice time. Hanley scored 5 goals with 8 assists and was -11 with 25 penalty minutes playing for the IceCaps. St. John’s missed the AHL playoffs, finishing fifth in the North Division.

Talent Analysis

Hanley is an offensively-inclined skating defenseman who has worked to refine his defensive play at the professional level. He does not play an overly physical style and can be out-muscled in small spaces but uses his skating ability to advantage and can put pressure on opponents with his passing and stick handling skills. He showed promise in a late-season call-up with Montreal at the end of the 2015-16 season but whether he can play at that level over a full season remains to be seen.


Hanley received a 10-game audition with Montreal late in the year after the Canadiens' blueline was decimated by injury. After an up-and-down 2015-16 season with the AHL's St. John's IceCaps, he showed some offensive promise with the Habs, recording six assists. Hanley's lack of bulk and inconsistent defensive game could be challenges at the NHL level but his offensive ability suggests some potential as a lower pairing defenseman with some power play value. Signed to a one-year contract by the Canadiens last summer, Hanley would become an unrestricted free agent if not tendered a qualifying offer by June 2016.

2012-13 Hockey East season preview

by DJ Powers

Johnny Gaudreau - Boston College

Photo: Boston College followers hope that Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau celebrates goals often this season as that school gears up for another run at a national championship (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

2012-13 is shaping up to be another exciting season in Hockey East. With the massive changes to the college hockey landscape on the horizon, the current, ten-member Hockey East conference will see an expansion in the next two years. Notre Dame joins the conference next season, while the University of Connecticut's men’s team will become Hockey East members beginning in the 2014-15 season (the UConn women’s team is already a member of Hockey East).

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