Jordan Young had an interesting journey to Arizona State because his name has been hanging in the rafters of Oceanside before he put on his collegiate sweater.
The Scottsdale native played pee-wee hockey with a couple of former Sun Devils and players who are currently playing for the University of Arizona and it only took him one year to emerge as a leader both on and off the ice in Tempe. He wears an "A" stitched to his chest every night he laces up his skates because his teammates voted for him to fill Brian Parson's void when he graduated.
"It's awesome being able to wear a letter this year and be able to be a guy that guys can look to for anything. We lost a lot of really good players and leaders last year so I'm hoping i can help fill the role they had," Young said.
What makes Young so valuable on the ice is that he can play in any situation and on the same shift as anyone on this team.
"I try to be easy to play with on the ice and do anything I can to get the best out of everybody on the team. During the offseason I pretty much just did rehab all summer long and worked on getting my strength back in order to be ready for the season," Young said.
Last year, Young was sidelined for a few weekends after sustaining a concussion when the team traveled to Tucson. Those games hindered Young's opportunities to grow during his freshman campaign, but head coach Greg Powers is still convinced Jordan Young is the best Division I defenseman in the ACHA.
In order to back up that statement, Young understands he needs to focus on staying healthy so he took his time coming back and handled any setback slowly so that he would not rush back to the ice.
Young finished his season with seven goals and 15 assists in 29 games. The former USHL Youngstown Phantom already contributed two goals to the Sun Devils' power play unit, which matched his total of least season.
He played with Darcy Charrois last season and said his leadership helped shape him into the player he is today. Currently, Young plays on the same line with his old-time friend Alex Temby.
"I loved playing with Darcy last year and he made it really easy for me so any type of player like him would be a good fit," Young said.
Temby is a more advanced version of Charrois because he has more offensive potential and he controls the defensive zone better than the graduated blue liner.
Because the sophomore is going to log plenty of ice time, he said the team will showcase it's depth on defense and he can trust the newcomers to pick up any slack at the blue line.
"I don't know if it will be surprising or anything because we already have a good core coming back and the new additions will just make us that much better," Young said.
Young is a player who can feed off success and can turn on his offense at any point to set the tone. It's been a few years since a Sun Devil (Colin Hekle) has worn a letter on his jersey as an underclassman. He and Danny McAuliffe are the two Arizonan assistant captains for a team that features only five in-state players so clearly geography has no impact on who is appointed captains.
What's next for the local product? Well, three captains graduate after this year so Young may be in line to inherit Hekle's "C" at the rate he is leading.