January 22, 2015
By Derek Holtom
MJHL Web Correspondent
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ─ Mark Twain
Mark Twain never met Ty Kraus. But if he did, he’d like him. Kraus is one of those players, who doesn’t let his size get in the way of excelling out on the ice. High energy. Loads of enthusiasm.
Kraus is one of the players you can’t help but watch.
The affable Selkirk Steeler forward is all about leaving it all out on the ice.
“I’m a hard worker, with some playmaking-type skills,” said Kraus, who also knows he’s not the tallest player on the ice. “I try to play a little bigger. I’ve never really been the biggest guy on the ice, and I’m used to it, but I try to not back down from anyone or anything.”
Kraus, plays much bigger than his 5-foot-8, 185-pound stature. The kid from East St. Paul has been consistent this season, scoring nearly a point a game. And outside a mini dry-spell in December, you would be hard pressed to keep Kraus off the scoreboard two games in a row.
Despite his flourishing offensive role, Kraus remains a team-goal-oriented type of player.
“Things are going pretty well right now – as a team we’re competing every night, we’re winning a lot of games, and we’re having some team success,” said the native of East St. Paul.
“But I’m also having some personal success as well.”
In what is probably considered a rebuilding year, Kraus has emerged as a veteran, go-to type of player on a young team.
“He’s really stepped up for us this season as far as offensive production this year,” said head coach Wayne Bartley. “He’s playing a lot on special teams, he’s very good with the puck, slows the play down when he needs to, and has been really great for us this year.”
Kraus, 19, had 33 points in 39 games midway through January – 11 goals and 22 assists. It’s a different role from the one he had on last year’s powerhouse Steelers squad.
“Last year we had a very strong team with lots of skill up front, like Parker Thomas, guys like that,” said Kraus. “This year we have to play a lot tougher, as we don’t have those high skill guys for goals every night. All four lines have to contribute each and every night, and that comes through hard work.”
With double the assists compared to goals, Kraus describes himself as the prototypical set up man.
With the league getting down to the final stretch, Kraus and his Steelers are in a battle with several teams for sixth place and avoiding the survivor series portion of the playoffs. And for that, the Steelers will be counting on Kraus to continue with his near point-a-game pace.
After his final year of junior next season, Kraus says he still wants to lace up the skates, and that will be his goal for the final one and a half years of junior A hockey.
“I’d still like to continue to play hockey after junior, either with school or Europe,” he said.