Entering their first season as a Division 1 program, the defensive core for Arizona State is going to be a major key to their success. Coach Greg Powers has nine defensemen to choose from, with only six being able to suit up and play.
"That’s tough, picking six out of those nine because all nine are all really good," Powers said. "They look good, they're playing good in practice. They're all really dialed in. We’re really struggling which six to go with because we like all nine."
Powers doesn't foresee there being a rotation with the group of nine. He believes that after a month, he expects to know which six he will go with it.
Two of these nine have NCAA experience, Brock Krygier with Michigan State and Connor Schmidt with Ferris State. These two, along with senior Jordan Young who was named a captain just days ago, are more than likely locks for three of those six spots.
That leaves Jake Clifford, Joey Raats, Nicholas Gushue, Liam McGing, Ed McGovern and Drew Newmeyer to battle it out for those final three spots.
Gushue lead all these freshmen in points, tallying up eight goals and 27 assists for 35 points in the BCHL. McGing rounded out his junior career playing 100 USHL games between the Chicago Steel, Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Des Moines Buccaneers.
"Until they prove otherwise, they’ll remain our top-six," Powers said. "But all nine of those guys are going to see opportunity, no doubt about it."
This group of nine, led by the captain Young, are going to be asked to led this squad night in and night out, and the six that find themselves in the final rotation will have be the strength for this team.