Allison Shuey/Reading, PA- Frank Hora, 21, may be the youngest player to take the ice for the Reading Royals but has proved to be one of the team’s best defensemen. Hora is in his rookie season and has notable numbers (1g, 11a) with a +17 rating, tied for the team lead. He’s played in 55 of 62 games this season.
The native of Cheektowaga, NY spent four seasons playing for Kitchener (OHL), tallying 91 points in 241 games. He was named Captain during his final season with Kitchener and transitioned from being a team leader to an influential first-year player.
“It was definitely a big jump, but I try to help out as much as I can on this team,” Hora stated, “I am a young guy and there are a lot of great leaders on this team already and there’s a lot of voices to be heard but it’s a team effort.”
Hora is dedicated to improving his play and has enjoyed spending his summer training with NHL players.
“Going to that pro level, it’s pretty cool to see players you watched on TV growing up and playing against and with them now, it’s a cool feeling,” Hora remarked.
As Hora begins his journey he is building memories along the way. His fondest was playing his first AHL game with the Cleveland Monsters in 2016-17.
“I came to Columbus’s camp as a free agent and worked my way up and made their AHL team and made opening night. After they won the Calder Cup, getting a chance to play in their opening line-up was a big deal for me.”
Not only has Hora had the opportunity to play in six AHL games, he spent some time at Flyers, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Buffalo Sabres camps throughout his career.
“It was pretty tiring actually,” Hora recalled, “I went from Columbus’ camp to the Sabres right away. It was a tough experience all in all. Being my hometown team, was a great time and I loved every minute of it.”
Hockey was always a part of Hora’s life. His older brother got Hora and his younger brother, Anthony, into hockey at a young age. Anthony, 19, has skated for the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers and OJHL’s Buffalo Jr. Sabres this campaign. Frank skated for the OJHL’s Jr. Sabres when he was 16.
“I started playing at three and just fell in love with the game,” Hora remembered.
Head Coach Kirk MacDonald said Hora has a strong future ahead of him. As he begins his career and looks to what his future may hold, Hora remembers to value the here and now.
“ play every game like it’s my last and make sure I am contributing and turning heads… take it year by year and game by game.”