Arizona State bolstered its recruiting class with the addition of forward Chris Burkemper two weeks ago. Head coach Greg Powers is excited for the 6-foot-2, 185-pound monster to play for him in the fall.
"Chris was a huge recruit for us and at the very top of our board for a long time. He's going to light it up," Powers said.
Burkemper spent the last two seasons in the Eastern Junior Hockey League. He played for the Bay State Breakers and the Boston Junior Bandits and scored 17 goals and tallied 25 assists in 72 games. Last season alone, he had 29 points in 40 games with Boston.
"The EJHL has prepared me for the college jump. My decision-making ability has definitely improved and I've learned to play at a quicker pace. It's a good league and it helped me build my confidence," Burkemper said.
Not only did he gain confidence on the ice, but he also became confident enough to call Arizona State his home for the next four years.
"I have loved the idea of playing hockey for ASU for as long as I can remember," he said. "Coach Powers helped make my decision a lot easier... I can't wait to be a part of it."
Every recruit seems to love coach Powers, but maybe there is a little more to the story on why the St. Louis, Missouri native chose Arizona State.
"The girls, isn't it obvious," Burkemper jokingly told sundevilhockey.com. "No, I'm just grateful for the opportunity to play for a championship-caliber team. I'm going to strive to become a better player, and also strive to do well in the classroom."
He said he is planning on getting his education from a program in the WP Carey School of Business.
He is a very disciplined player who has a knack for getting to the dirty areas in the offensive zone. His offensive presence could help take the Sun Devils to the next level.
"I like to gain the zone and be able to slow things down and make plays. I plan on bringing more offense to the team. I want to be able to help bring home some titles," Burkemper said.
Powers is thrilled that he won the Burkemper sweepstakes because he is just the right guy to bring fear to ACHA opponents.
"He can really get up and down the ice, and score the puck," Powers said. "He's a big body up front and chose us over NCAA DI options that he had. Chris carries himself very well and ASU is a place he really decided he wanted to be and we are incredibly excited to have him."
Nickname: Criff or Burky
Major: Business Administration or Finance
Favorite Hockey Moment: Making a good run at Nationals during my PeeWee year
What got you started in hockey?: My dad. He didn't play growing up but he loved the game and insisted that my brother and I give it a go.
Favorite Hockey Team: St. Louis Blues
Favorite Hockey Player: Derek Stepan
Favorite Sports Team (other than hockey): St. Louis Cardinals
What other sports did you play: Golf is my favorite pastime so I can't wait to hit the courses in Arizona
Fun Facts: Likes to swim, bike, play ping-pong and watch some good movies