Kraus talks about returning to Reign.

Tim Kraus, who re-signed with the Reign in June, wanted to be back in Ontario but not for too long. At 22, he’s still chasing the NHL dream and will be surrounded this summer with someone who can help him get there. Here’s what he had to say this afternoon…

On coming back for a second year:
It’s nice. Obviously I have a fun good first year in Ontario. I enjoyed every day that I was there. That said, I don’t want to be in Ontario very long. I’d like to move on up. I think I did really well this last year establishing myself. Hopefully I got my name on the radar. I know coach Karl’s excited, hoping we get a lot of guys back. We have a good core group coming back.

On what needs improvement:
My consistency. I played a lot of really good games, then some games I’m kinda there not doing a whole lot. I’d like to focus on playing defense, helping the team win faceoffs. Just overall consistency.

On playing close to his native Garden Grove:
That’s the main reason I came here last year, the fact I was able to have my family here that I haven’t seen in five years. I don’t know if it was so much staying here, but how well everything was run, and how well coach Karl treated me.

Where are you spending this summer:
Canyon Lake. Jon Rheault’s rooming with me in my house. We drive to Yorba Linda every day, then train there for three hours a day, then we come home and sit in the backyard and stare at the lake. It’s a pretty easy life for right now. I think we’re going to go to Newport Beach after the fourth of July, to live with (Anaheim Ducks forward) Bobby Ryan. We get to see what a guy who’s doing well in the NHL is doing, stay focused on that path.

How do you know Ryan?
We played together on the L.A. Junior Kings for about three years in California, until we moved away to juniors.

On the new ECHL playoff structure?
I’ve never seen anything like that, but I’ve never seen a conference with only eight teams in it. As far as them not allowing the last team to make the playoffs, I think that’s great. The first team getting a bye, I think that’s a great idea. I like that they’re not allowing every team to make the playoffs, so every game means something.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.