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ASU Hockey: Former NCAA Division I defenseman Connor Schmidt commits to the Sun Devils

In Connor Schmidt, ASU hockey may have landed the biggest recruit it has ever had (Photo courtesy of Connor Schmidt).

Arizona State hockey coach Greg Powers said right after the season that he had high expectations for next year's recruiting class.

He believes he may have landed the biggest prize yet in defenseman Connor Schmidt.

"I think Connor is easily one of highest caliber recruits to ever commit to ASU and I'm confident he will be a huge piece in helping us defend our title," Powers said in an announcement. "Adding Connor in my opinion gives our ‘D' core unprecedented depth and talent that the ACHA has never seen."

Schmidt comes from two of the highest-level amateur hockey leagues in the country in the United States Hockey League and NCAA Division I.

Schmidt played with Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL before moving to Ferris State of the NCAA. Current Sun Devils that are also fellow alumni of the USHL include Drew Newmeyer, Jordan Young and Sean Murphy.

Schmidt said he is good friends with Murphy, and that the friendship helped bring him to Arizona State.

Schmidt played 33 games of the 2012-13 season as a 19-year-old, and 10 games last year before finishing the season back in Des Moines of the USHL, a decision Powers said was made for a change a scenery and so he could evaluate all his options.

Schmidt is the only current Sun Devil to have played NCAA Division I hockey. Last year's team had Brian McGinty as the only former NCAA player.

He only stands 5-foot-10 and weighs in at 172 pounds, but Schmidt said he uses that to his advantage.

"You have to be an offensive defenseman," he said. "I think that's my biggest thing that I'll bring to the table. But I also have games where my offense isn't really going so I have to be steady on the blue line and block shots and make hits."

Schmidt played in Des Moines, Iowa in the USHL and Ferris State is in Big Rapids, Mich., and said he is excited for the Arizona winters.

"I'm looking forward to looking into my closet and seeing a lot of t-shirts and tank-tops and shorts," he said.

Powers said Schmidt is the biggest recruit the Sun Devils have ever had commit, and that getting him is another big step in having Arizona State recognized nationally.

"This is a commitment of a very large magnitude for our program that will hopefully continue to open the eyes of more high caliber players that ASU hockey is a first-class college experience at a great University," Powers said.