Following stops in Hamden, Connecticut, Des Moines, Iowa, Utica, New York and Springfield, Massachusetts, Hershey Bears forward Sam Anas has finally returned home. Now in his seventh season in the American Hockey League (AHL), the 29-year-old veteran has come full circle, signing with the Bears this past off-season.
Anas, who grew up in Potomac, Maryland, attended Capitals and Bears games on a regular basis. “My parents were season ticket holders for the Caps. I was pretty much as big of a Caps fan as there was,” said Anas in a recent interview for Bears radio.
“It’s just something that I’ve always wanted. Coming out of college, undrafted, everytime I’ve been a free agent, I’m always hoping that it’s the Caps and Hershey, and it’s nice that it finally was.”
Anas is also appreciating the fact that he is getting to know a few former Capitals players – players that he followed growing up.
“It’s cool to be in the organization, get to know some of the guys, like Olie (Kolzig) and Brooksie (Orpik), guys that played for the team. It’s pretty cool to get to know them on a personal level, and pick their brains, and to be coached by them. And so many guys that have played here. It’s awesome, it means a lot to me and my family as well.”
Anas, who played his college hockey at Quinnipiac, began his pro career playing four seasons with the Iowa Wild in the AHL, where he earned a league scoring title for the 2019-20 season. He then spent a season with the Utica Comets and a season with the Springfield Thunderbirds before signing with the Bears this past summer.
Anas began playing organized hockey with the Washington Little Caps, where he was teammates with current Capitals forward Joe Snively. The two remain close, spending part of their past summer, together, working out at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
“I trained with Joe all summer,” said Anas. “It’s nice to be in the same organization as him.”
Anas and the Bears return to the ice on Saturday in Wilkes-Barre for the first game of a home-and-home set with the Penguins. Puck drop is set for 6PM.
By Jon Sorensen