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ASU Hockey: Sun Devils pick up first defensive commit in Jake Clifford

Coach Greg Powers once again headed to the Great White North to bring in a future Sun Devil.

Michelle Hekle/Hekle Photo Images

So far the three commits to ASU's Division I hockey team next year have all been forward. The Sun Devils picked up their first defenseman Saturday in Jake Clifford.

The 6-foot-1 defenseman weighs in at 187 pounds, resembling current Sun Devil Brett Blomgren for comparison's sake. While he stand look like Blomgren, he compares better to Connor Schmidt or Ed McGovern when looking at his production.

Through 28 games with the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League, he has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points, gaudy numbers for a defenseman. Again to compare to the current ASU team, Schmidt leads the squad in blue-line scoring with 6-11-17 in 23 games.

The BCHL is the same league from which ASU plucked recent commit Jordan Masters. The BCHL is considered one of the top junior hockey leagues in Western Canada for NCAA talent (players in the major junior Western Hockey League are ineligible for NCAA play), and ASU coach Greg Powers made it a point to focus on the West. The Eastern-most commit to this point has been Cody Gylling, who played in Texas.