Rockford IceHogs One-On-One: Anthony Louis


Earlier this week, I had the chance to talk with Rockford IceHogs forward Anthony Louis. Last season’s points leader in Rockford, Louis is a native on Winfield, Illinois, just 45 minutes West of the United Center in Chicago. Louis was selected in the 6th round of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, a team he grew up a fan of, and began his path to the professional hockey levels. We talked about his journey up through the US Development program, playing alongside his friends growing up, and much more.

Here is’s discussion with Anthony Louis.

One-On-One With Anthony Louis

On growing up a Blackhawks fan and playing for the organization now:

I grew up playing hockey and following the Blackhawks, even though they struggled but I was always there and would go to games with my Dad. It’s pretty special to be a part of the organization now and give myself a chance to hopefully crack the roster soon.

How he got into playing Hockey at a young age:

My Dad got me into Hockey, but I also wanted to play because of ‘The Mighty Ducks.’ I used to watch that on repeat and I wanted to be like Goldberg.

You wanted to be a goalie at first?

Yeah, I guess so. I didn’t realize what that meant though when I was younger. Obviously that didn’t work out. Probably a good thing.

Was there a point where you realized you could play professionally?

I don’t know an exact age or anything like that, but I was always a guy who was scoring goals and a lot of points and the eye-opener was more for my Dad than for me. I was just going out there and playing hard and having fun. That was a big part of how it was for me. Obviously it’s more fun when you’re scoring. I guess then at a certain age I knew I could take it somewhere, but wasn’t sure how far. But I could take it somewhere for sure.

Anthony Louis Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks selected Illinois-native Anthony Louis in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, New Jersey. (Courtesy: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

On being drafted in 2013 by the Chicago Blackhawks:

Being there with my Dad and my Uncle was a pretty special moment. It was almost like happening in slow motion, we watched the whole Blackhawks table turn and look at us before calling my name. It was a pretty special moment for me and my Dad and my whole family. I love being a part of this organization, the last few years has been pretty special for me and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

On choosing to play College Hockey at Miami-Ohio over playing Major Juniors:

I always knew it was an option (to play Juniors), but I committed to Miami at a pretty young age where I didn’t want to go back on that. Miami is a special part of my career and my life in general, so I think going to college for me was a key part of my long-term career. I was able to go there for four years, get a degree, develop and learn some more before jumping into pro Hockey. I think it was a smart move, the right move, and I think Miami had a big impact on me playing Hockey and my life as a whole.

On the transition from College to the Pros in Rockford in Spring 2017:

It was definitely different. I think playing for Team USA helped prepare me for that, playing up when I was 18 years old. I kind of knew that it was going to be a similar step going from College to Pros and that helped me a little bit. I came into not the greatest situation here in Rockford, but everyone here treated me well.I had one of my good buddies, Vinny (Hinostroza) here and he helped me out. Just being able to get those few games at the end of the year helped me going into my rookie season last year.

Anthony Louis

Anthony Louis in his Senior year that the University of Miami-Ohio. (Courtesy: The Miami Student)

On his relationship with former Blackhawks Vince Hinostroza, Ryan Hartman, and Nick Schmaltz:

I grew up playing with those guys, Schmaltzy, and Hartzy, and Vinny and all those guys. Pretty close with them, I workout in the Summer with them and skate with them too. Still close with them and it’s pretty special to see their success.

Did you all ever think, when you were younger, that you would play together professionally?

We didn’t really talk about that too much. I hung around with Vinny more over the years and just playing shinny and roller hockey growing up and pretending that we were Blackhawks and little things like that.

I saw a picture on Instagram of you, a number of years ago, with a Patrick Kane jersey on, was that who you would imagine you were playing as growing up?

Yeah, when he came into the league I remember watching him and trying to mock my game after him. He’s a special player and is one of the best in the league. Being able to watch him growing up, seeing his career grow and I’m lucky because I’m with Chicago and I can watch him all the time. He was my favorite player to watch growing up and to be in the same organization as him and be on the ice with him is pretty awesome.

Anthony Louis

Anthony Louis (front) and former Blackhawks teammate Nick Schmaltz (back) playing for Team USA in 2014.
(Courtesy: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

On his rookie season with the IceHogs last season:

Being my first year, it was awesome. I was a rookie and we had a rookie coach with Jeremy (Colliton) and we had a lot of young guys there as well. Plus, we had some bigger guy like (Cody) Franson and (Lance) Bouma, guys that have been around pro Hockey for a long time. Having those guys to look to as role models and for experience helped a lot. I think and the other younger guys on the team were lucky to have guys like that show us the way to play pro Hockey and how to take care of your bodies everyday.

On going through a major coaching change in the organization:

It was a bit of a change and it all happened so fast. You learn to kind of adapt to it, but we’re happy for Jeremy. He deserved it. He’s been working hard and he knows the game and he can help Chicago be a better team in the long-run. Being around him last year and a little bit this year, he taught me a lot about the game and he knows his stuff. We’re pumped for him.

How has it been with IceHogs interim Head Coach Derek King at the helm?

Yeah, King is awesome. Nothing really changed here, he knows how to be a head coach and he’s done a good job so far. He’s adapting and making his calls and we just need to keep pushing and following what he says. He’s a guy who has been around for a while, he had a good playing career and he knows what he’s doing. It’s a good opportunity for him and also for us players to be behind the bench with him.

Anthony Louis Rockford IceHogs

Anthony Louis of the Rockford IceHogs. (Courtesy: Kate Dibildox)

On the difference between this year and last year for the IceHogs roster:

It’s different, again we got a lot of young guys learning the ropes. We’re just trying to go along day by day, work hard off and on the ice.

Rapid fire section:

Sport to play other than Hockey?

Probably, Golf. It’s a relaxing sport. I mean, it can get frustrating, but it’s nice to get out there and not think about Hockey and just have fun with friends.

You score low?

Low 80’s. Pretty Good?

Cubs or White Sox?

Cubs for sure. I cheer for both but if they are playing each other I cheer for the Cubs.

Were you able to watch the 2016 World Series?

Yeah that was crazy. Glad I didn’t have to wait too long in the 108 years to see them win. Pretty special.

Anthony Louis

Anthony Louis enjoys a day on the course. (Courtesy: Anthony Louis/Instagram)

TV Show you can binge and watch continuously?

Oh man, I’m a big Netflix guy but I would probably say Arrow, right now. I’m all caught up on it now. I binge-watch that pretty hard.

Song/Artist that is a guilty pleasure?

I’m more of just into turning on my Spotify and just going on repeat. But, probably some throwback Usher songs are pretty good.

On cutting down the flow over the summer:

Yeah usually I cut it down at the beginning of the Summer. I had the long hair for probably three and a half, maybe four years so it needed to be reset. But it’s growing back out now. I had to restart it, it was getting pretty swampy, especially in the Summer.

My thanks to Anthony and the Rockford IceHogs organization for allowing us to have this discussion. Louis currently ranks third on the team in points with 13 and leads the team in goals with 8 though 24 games this year. Rockford is back in action on Friday as they host the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7pm CT at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.

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