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ASU Hockey: Sun Devils ranked No. 15 in USCHO preseason poll

National recognition

Richard Martinez/House of Sparky

Arizona State is ranked No. 15 in the nation in the USCHO’s preseason college hockey poll.

In a season unlike any other in 2020, the Sun Devils will take on an all Big Ten schedule, playing four games against each of the seven schools in the conference. All games will be played on the road.

ASU is not eligible for the Big Ten Tournament, but the arrangement does allow the Sun Devils to play a full 28-game schedule as an independent program, and it condenses travel in a COVID-19 pandemic world.

The Big Ten features five of the seven programs in the hockey conference ranked in the USCHO top-20, including No. 9 Penn State, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 12 Michigan, No. 14 Minnesota, and No. 20 Notre Dame.

With ASU right in the mix as well, it’s sure to be a season full of competitive matchups. Greg Powers’ squad also returns nearly all of its roster from last year.

Up front, the group is led by returning forwards Johnny Walker, James Sanchez, Willie Knierim, Jordan Sandhu, PJ Marrocco, Fil Buncis, and Dom Garcia.

On the blue line, ASU features the returning cast of Jacob Semik, Jack Judson, Jacob Wilson, Gvido Jansons, and Jarrod Gourley.

And between the pipes, the Sun Devils have last year’s starter Evan DeBrouwer, as well as Justin Robbins and New Jersey Devils’ draft pick Cole Brady.

There’s also a plethora of talented freshmen from a top-five recruiting class, and upperclassmen transfers Sean Dhooghe (Wisconsin) and Chris Grando (Boston College).

An official schedule hasn’t yet been released, but the Big Ten hockey season is likely to start over the next month or so.