(Story courtesy of Darnell Duff/730CKDM)
He is honoured that he has been given a chance to play hockey at the junior level.
Even when things have not gone the way he would have hoped, Naaman Hofer has remained positive, and he does whatever it takes to improve. For the past two seasons, Hofer was a member of the Winnipeg Freeze of the MJHL.
In their first year in the league (2021-22), the Freeze finished at the bottom of the MGEU East Division with a record of 10-40-4. Naaman scored three times last year while adding 12 assists as the Freeze once again finished at the bottom of the East with a record of 4-51-3. During the entire process, you would still catch Naaman at the rink with a smile and he never took his foot off the gas pedal.
A true student of the game, Hofer is living his dream every time he hits the ice.
“I just kept telling myself to have fun, it’s a privilege to come to the rink every day,” said Hofer. “I just took things day-by-day and tried working on my game. I always felt that I was improving and that’s important, even though we didn’t have much success as a team.”
While Naaman still has two years of junior eligibility, his days as a member of the Freeze are now over. In a trade over the summer, the Dauphin Kings completed a trade that saw the Kings acquire the 19-year-old.
Hofer has been outstanding since joining the Kings, both offensively and in his own zone. Currently, Hofer leads the team in scoring with 16 points. Hofer has been a catalyst on the team’s power play with one goal and eight assists while on the man advantage.
Hofer is also very much enjoying being on a team that is 10-2 to start the season.
“It’s been such a great time here in Dauphin,” said Hofer. “We have a great group of guys and I feel very welcomed here, I have loved every minute.”
While Dauphin sits in second place in the West, one point behind Virden, the Kings do have three games in hand on the Oil Capitals and there .833 winning percentage is the second-best in the league.
Hofer believes what makes this team so special is the fact that everyone is battling for one another.
“The guys are always together, we’re always hanging out and spending time together,” said Hofer. “That will only help us moving forward, we’re a very tight knit group.”
Naaman returned to his hometown on Sunday as Dauphin played the Winnipeg Freeze at the Hockey for All Centre. Playing with the Freeze for the past two years, it was a reunion of sorts for Hofer playing against his old team.
Hofer ended up being instrumental in Dauphin’s success against his old team. The 19-year-old star from Winnipeg had four assists as the Kings downed the Freeze, 7-2. Paired with Anthony Bax, the dominant duo combined for eight points in the victory.
Get to know Hofer:
What are some of your hobbies? I’m a pretty easy-going kind of guy, I like to do pretty much everything. I’ll play video games or spend lots of time outside with my family and friends, I can have fun doing pretty much anything.
What’s one of the things that is highest on your bucket list? I would love to go to Mexico or somewhere nice and hot with nice beaches.
What attracted you to become a defenceman? I like to be the guy that makes a good first pass and I enjoy the puck being on my stick.
What’s your favourite hockey memory? We won a championship in Grand Forks when I was playing U15 and that was cool to be a part of.
Who are some of the most influential people in your life? I would say my parents, they have helped me so much over the years. Everything I have going for me is because of them.