Hanley's perseverance has earned the 5-foot-11 defenseman an opportunity to play in the NHL. The native of Keswick, Ontario, played two full seasons in Junior A hockey with Newmarket before playing four seasons with the University of Massachusetts. He signed a contract with Portland of the American Hockey League after his college eligibility ended.
The Montreal Canadiens signed Hanley to a one-year, two-way contract in the summer of 2015, and after injuries decimated the Canadiens' defense he was called up from St. John's of the AHL. Hanley made his NHL debut on March 20, 2016. He was scoreless in that game but had two assists in each of his next two games and finished with six assists in 10 games.