Hockey is played everywhere and even if Arizona seems like a strange hotbed for talent, the hometown of ASU's newest recruit may seem even stranger.
Very excited to announce my commitment to play division 1 hockey @ASUD1Hockey. Thank you to everyone who helped me achieve my goals!— Joey Raats (@vegasrat) February 4, 2015
Wednesday ASU got its first commit from Las Vegas when defenseman Joey Raats announced he will be coming to Tempe next season.
Raats is a high-end talent in the USHL, getting taken 44th overall lasts season. He got plucked from the Alberta Junior Hockey League where he had 24 points in 34 games from the blue line. This year he has 10 points in 38 games with a +4 rating.
He is a smooth skater who can control the puck up and down the line. He chose his college home over Bemidji State and Nebraska-Omaha. He will join the Sun Devils next season.
Even though he is technically from Las Vegas, he has been everywhere. His parents are Canadian, giving him dual-citizenship and spent a good portion of his life in Alberta. He also spent time in the Phoenix area in his younger days, playing for the DYHA out of Oceanside and was youth teammates with current Sun Devil defenseman Drew Newmeyer.
Raats becomes the seventh USHL player to commit to this recruiting class, along with goalie Ryland Pashovitz, defenseman Liam McGing and forwards Ryan Stevens, Joe Lappin, Jack Rowe and Louie Rowe.
The last defenseman from Sioux Falls has already made his mark on the program, and if Raats has the same impact that Ed McGovern did, ASU fans will be quite happy with him.
Keep up to date on all of ASU's recruits for the NCAA season here.