The Dauphin Kings knew they were getting a proven leader when Nick Hatton, of Bloomington, Minnesota, committed to the program. Hatton was the captain of his hometown high school team last year when he scored five times and added seven assists.
Moving north of the border for the first time back in September to join the Kings, Hatton has now suited up in 45 games with the Kings and he’s put together a very solid rookie season offensively and defensively. In the offensive zone, Hatton has one goal paired with 16 assists and on the back end, Nick continues to grow as a top-end defenseman and he will only continue to improve with the great work ethic and dedication he possesses.
Living out his junior dream about 10 hours away from where he grew up, Hatton has grown to love Dauphin and everything the organization has to offer.
“It’s been a great experience and the play has certainly been more physical than what I was used to,” said Hatton. “Overall, it’s been a great transition and my billets have made it extremely easy. It’s been awesome and I’m looking forward to moving forward with the team.”
Dauphin continues to prepare for their biggest weekend of the season as they play the Virden Oil Capitals in a home-and-home. Friday’s game is at Credit Union Place before the teams lock horns on Saturday at Tundra Oil and Gas Place.
With OCN losing on Wednesday to Swan Valley, the Kings are just four points back of first place in the West Division as are the Oil Capitals as Dauphin and Virden are tied in the standings with 57 points. One team will be on the outside looking in after Friday’s game. Virden downed the Kings in their most recent meeting, 2-1.
“I don’t think anyone has seen anything quite like this, it’s crazy,” said Hatton. “We just know that we have to come to the rink every day ready to battle, we can’t afford to take any days or nights off. As long as we play our game, we know that we can beat anyone in this league.”
Hatton gives a lot of credit for his development to the coaching staff in Bloomington and now in Dauphin. Doug Hedley, Chad Facey, Brad Dupasquier, and Dan Keeping round out this year’s Kings’ coaching staff.
“They are amazing, they are some of the best coaches I have ever had and I mean every single word of that,” offered Hatton. “They take care of us so well, they make sure we have everything we need, and they stand up for us. I couldn’t ask for a betting coaching staff.”
Nick’s parents also were in town earlier this year as they took in Ukrainian Night followed by a team brunch the following day and just like Nick, his parents are great people as well.
“That meant a lot to me that they came out to watch me play in person,” offered Hatton. “It’s not a short drive, so it was nice to see them.”
Hatton also wants to thank Dauphin for the amazing support this season.
“Just to see all of our fans rally around this team, it’s amazing,” ended Hatton. “It makes me feel right at home.”
Get to know Hatton:
When did you start playing hockey? I started skating when I was like three or four, but I got into it more when I was like five or six
Do you have a favourite childhood memory? I scored an overtime goal against a rival of ours back home when I was younger, so that was always really exciting
Do you have a favourite athlete? Mikhail Sergachev from the Tampa Bay Lightning, he’s a simple defenseman that just makes the right play and he makes a big impact
Do you have a favourite musical artist? I’m an oldies guy, my favourite is the Rolling Stones
What are some of your hobbies? I like to read books, I enjoy trying to develop my mind. I also love to play golf in the summer and spend time with my friends