The idea was it wouldn't take long for ASU to start reeling in blue-chip hockey prospects. But the speed it has been able to do so is impressive.
Gage Mackie, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound prep center from Alaska, announced his commitment to ASU via Twitter. Mackie is the youngest ASU commit to date and the first for the 2017-18 season. He will play two years of juniors before enrolling at ASU.
Proud and excited to announce my commitment to play division 1 hockey for Arizona State University #GoSunDevils— Gage Mackie (@MackDaddy907) February 9, 2015
"It really seemed like the right situation for me," Mackie said. "It really gave me a couple more years to develop and become more dominant."
Mackie commits as the No. 178 North American skater in the NHL 2015 draft class, according to NHL Draft Central. While 178 may seem high, it is the same draft list that includes soon-to-be No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid. His ranking projects as a fourth-to-sixth-round pick in the NHL draft and he is young, still only 17-years-old, not set to turn 18 until June.
Players of Mackie's stature don't typically choose to go to start-up programs. Players will normally opt for established programs with a history of moving players to the next level. Mackie said he was convinced by coaches Greg Powers and Alex Hicks that ASU is his best option.
"I think with the athletic director at ASU and everything they have going on, I should have every tool necessary to make it to the NHL," Mackie said.
Mackie will graduate from Shattuck-St. Mary's prep school in Faribault, Minn. this year, then will play two years of junior hockey before joining the Sun Devils for the 2017-18 season. His rights are owned by the Fargo Force of the USHL.
His stats are unavailable for embed from hockeydb.com. Be sure to check out his EliteProspects page here.
Be sure to keep up to date on all of ASU's recruits for the NCAA season here.