In a year where the program made tremendous strides in 2018-19, Arizona State unveiled some of its newest recruits for the 2019 season yesterday.
The class features the leading scorer in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), the first Minnesota native to ever come to Tempe to play NCAA hockey, and three players from the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Dubuque Fighting Saints. Two of the three players from Dubuque already have NCAA experience as well.
“We believe this class from top to bottom has the potential to make the most immediate impact yet, as it has everything and rounds out our roster incredibly well at every position,” said head coach Greg Powers in a press release from Sun Devil Athletics. “The balance, depth, and most importantly, competition in practice created from our depth will lead to another big step forward for our program. Every single one of these players wants to ‘Be The Tradition’ so we expect them to come right in and help us continue to enhance our culture.”
The Sun Devils also have more players on their way who have already committed, and they will be announcing the signing of goaltenders in the near future. But for now, here is what Powers has added to his platoon:
Logan Jenuwine, Amarillo Bulls (NAHL)
Jenuwine is among the most lethal scorers in the North American Hockey League. He broke the single season record for goals with 60 and tallied 104 points. A Romeo, Michigan native, the forward formerly played junior hockey in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Lincoln Stars, the Fargo Force, and the Waterloo Black Hawks.
He led the NAHL this season in plus/minus, goals, and points. Jenuwine was the 2015-16 United States High School Michigan Mr. Hockey Award Winner at Romeo High, which is an honor that is bestowed to the best high school hockey player in the state.
Jax Murray, Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL)
Murray will make ASU history as the first-ever Sun Devil to hail from the State of Hockey. An Elk River, Minnesota native, Murray registered 43 points in 57 games with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the NAHL.
The forward was a part of the 2017-18 NAHL All-Rookie Second Team and he committed to ASU last summer.
Jacob Semik, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
Once again, the Dubuque pipeline has struck Tempe. With assistant coach Mike Field formerly coaching for the program in the USHL, the Devils got another recruit from the Fighting Saints. Semik, a defenseman who is another Michigan native, wore an “A” on his sweater this past season. He was formerly committed to Michigan before rerouting to ASU.
The alternate captain for Dubuque registered 20 points in 59 games played and he was a plus-five. A blue-liner who is no stranger to jumping on the rush and playmaking, Semik used to be paired defensively with current ASU defenseman Josh Maniscalco, who played for Dubuque and was a plus-12 in his freshman campaign with the Devils. If Semik is anything like Maniscalco’s freshman year, ASU looks to be in good shape for quite some time on the blue line.
James Sanchez, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
Sanchez has one of the more interesting stories on how he became a Sun Devil. He actually registered his first collegiate assist against ASU. Sanchez has already played two years of NCAA hockey at Michigan but after two years with the Wolverines, he returned back to the USHL to play with Dubuque.
He was another alternate captain as a left wing with the Fighting Saints and the 21-year-old will now return to the NCAA in Tempe this coming season. Sanchez is just the second ASU player who is a product of the U.S. National Development program.
William Knierim, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
Just add another established leader from Dubuque. Knierim, who was another alternate captain for the Fighting Saints in 2018-19, is similar to Sanchez. He played two years of NCAA hockey at Miami of Ohio before going back to the USHL for a year.
The right wing was a plus-12 in 2018-19 with the Fighting Saints and he had 47 points in 60 games played. Knierim is also a big body standing at 6-foot-4, 212 pounds.
As the last of three @fightingsaints alternate captains to join @TheSunDevils, @27WillieKnierim brings a ☑️next to his name...so you know he's good.— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) April 17, 2019
Welcome Willie! #ForksUp pic.twitter.com/2s9W3SnBnJ
Jack Judson, Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
Add another Canadian to the list of Sun Devils who come from North of the border. Judson is a 19-year-old defenseman who is the youngest player in the 2019 class. He had 32 points in 50 games played in the British Columbia Hockey League.
He joins fellow British Columbia native and Viper alum Jordan Sandhu on the Sun Devil roster. Judson was committed to ASU since December of 2016.