ASU Hockey: Reload of championship team continues with Connor Mailey

Connor Mailey of Calgary recently announced he will be the second recruit of the 2014-15 recruiting class, and becomes the second incoming freshman from the AJHL in Canada (Photo courtesy of Connor Mailey).

For the second time in two weeks, Arizona State hockey went into Calgary to reload its roster.

The latest Alberta native to join the Sun Devils is forward Connor Mailey, a player who has already garnered high praise from his coach.

"He is a great all around player that literally can do it all," coach Greg Powers said in an announcement. "He can make plays, score goals, grind it out, and most importantly is an incredible team-first guy which is the only kind of kid we will bring in."

In addition to playing forward for the Sun Devils, Mailey will also be majoring in business. He said the opportunity to do both was the reason he chose Arizona State.

"Winning a national championship was a big thing for me," Mailey said. "But at the end of the day, it was about schooling as well."

Like ASU's first recruit, defenseman Gianni Mangone, Mailey comes to Tempe from the Alberta Junior Hockey League in Canada. He registered 115 points in his last three seasons with the Camrose Kodiaks.

Mailey said that he talked with Powers about joining the team last year, but chose to return to the Kodiaks for his age-20 season. There he turned in the best season of his career, notching 17 goals and 29 assists for 46 points in 57 games.

While Mangone's recruitment adds depth to an already-formidable blue line, Mailey will fill a hole ASU has. The 2013-14 team's top four point-scorers - Kale Dolinski, Danny McAuliffe, Brian McGinty and Colin Hekle - were all forwards and all graduated.

"I heard that we lost some goal-scorers and I definitely wouldn't categorize myself as a goal-scorer," Mailey said. "I just play the game 200 feet and if I can put the puck in the net and bring some leadership, that'll be everything I can do."

Powers stressed Mailey's ability to fit in with the "family-first culture" of the team. Mailey was the captain of the Kodiaks last season, an organization that Powers said prides itself on its hard-working players.

Not to mention what he can do on the ice.

"Its obviously icing on cake he is an immediate impact-level talent," Powers said.

As for Mangone, the connections between Arizona State's first and second recruits are more than just sharing a league.

"He's my best buddy," Mailey said of Mangone.

Mailey said he knew of Mangone's recruitment, and that he is looking forward to playing with him ASU.

"It makes you feel more comfortable when you're going to a new team and you know a familiar face," Mailey said. "It's a place where I wanted to be and it's where I wanted to play as well. It just helps to know someone there right off the bat, too."

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