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Wednesday, 06 February 2013 07:26

A LeSann in being WHL tough

Written by  Brad Brown
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How to become a LeSassinator in three easy steps:


Step one.
“You’ve gotta have a sweet last name,” said Swift Current Broncos enforcer Daniel Dale, who bestowed the nickname upon rookie teammate Tanner LeSann after an early-season fight against Seattle’s Mitch Elliot.
Step two.
You should also be lucky enough to have a teammate like Dale around in the first place. He’s encouraged the undersized LeSann to bulk up in the weight room and worked with the youngster on his technique and balance.
Step three.
“Just throw as many punches as you can and see what happens,” Dale concluded.
What’s happened in LeSann’s case is a new reputation as something of a giant killer.
He leads the Broncos and sits sixth in the entire WHL with 13 fighting majors, but it’s not so much about what he’s done as how he’s done it.
Of his opponents so far, LeSann had to look up to meet the gaze of 10 of them. His lightest dance partner — Saskatoon’s Shayne Gwinner — outweighed him by 24 pounds.
On average, he’s giving up two inches and 38 pounds every time he drops the flippers.
“When you drop the gloves with big boys like that of course that runs through your head,” said LeSann, a cousin of both former Broncos enforcer Tony Mohagen and San Jose Sharks superstar and native of nearby Aneroid, Patrick Marleau.
“You’re thinking ‘What did I get myself into?’ But in the end you’re in a fight and you just try and do your best.
“I just know that I’m going to get punched and I just try and punch them back.”
Simple as that.
Or maybe not.
LeSann’s natural element is actually on the other side of the scoresheet. He had 75 points in 86 midget AAA games and led the Yorkton Harvest in scoring last season before claiming a surprise spot on the Broncos’ roster in the fall.
It’s a side of his game he still hopes to eventually become known for in the WHL.
With the Broncos’ top six forward spots seemingly spoken for prior to this season’s training camp, LeSann concedes his tough-guy image evolved more out of necessity than anything.
“Being in a fighting role definitely helped my chances to make the team,” he said. “The points will come, but for now I think my role is to be one of those guys and maybe next year I’ll try and put points up.”
But it was the Elliot fight in particular, just LeSann’s second as a junior, that began to make him a household name in Swift Current.
Giving up six inches and 65 pounds to the four-year veteran, LeSann weathered at least a half dozen bombs before dropping Elliot with a wild overhand right.
In the second of two recent tilts with Moose Jaw’s Spencer Morse, LeSann threw (and received) punches steadily for almost 40 seconds before scoring the knockdown in a fight-of-the-year candidate.
“He’s a good kid and he’s earned my respect,” said Dale. “At the beginning, I wasn’t sure. His fights are crazy and he doesn’t play any defence (in his fights) or anything like that so I didn’t know how long it would last.
“But he’s fought a couple of tough guys and he’s done fine in all his fights. I haven’t seen him outright lose one yet so he’s definitely got my respect and he’s getting respect around the league.”

 

Fight Card
Tanner LeSann
Age: 17              Height: 6'0"                       Weight: 158

Date    Opponent’s name    Age    Height    Weight
Oct. 12    Emil Sylvegard (REG)    19    6'2"    205
Nov. 2    Mitch Elliot (SEA)    19    6'6"    223
Nov. 11    Ayrton Nikkel (BDN)    17    6'1"    195
Dec. 4    Ryan Rehill (KAM)    17    6'2"    200
Dec. 5    Tyrell Goulbourne (KEL)    18    5'11"    195
Dec. 16    Jagger Dirk (KTN)    19    6'0"    201
Dec. 18    Shayne Gwinner (SAS)    18    6'1"    182
Dec. 29    Chad Labelle (MH)    17    5'8"    189
Jan. 15    Spencer Morse (MJ)    17    6'3"    197
Jan. 25    Tye Hand (REG)    17    6'3"    190
Jan. 26    Spencer Morse (MJ)    17    6'3"    197
Jan. 30    Kenton Helgeson (CAL)    18    6'3"    192
Feb. 1    Travis Ewanyk (EDM)    19    6’2”    192

Read 14840 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 07:28