Over the next couple of weeks, we will be looking at incoming athletes for Sun Devil athletic programs. First up, we will be breaking down Greg Powers’ 2020 recruiting class, which was ranked top-five in the nation according to neutralzone.net.
Here’s a look at what can be expected from the faces of the future.
Ryan O’Reilly, Forward
A Southlake, Texas native, O’Reilly is a 2018 fourth-round selection of the Detroit Red Wings. He was originally committed to Denver University before flipping to Arizona State.
The 20-year-old played his junior hockey in the United States Hockey League for the Green Bay Gamblers, the Fargo Force, and the Madison Capitals.
In 2019-20 with Green Bay, O’Reilly had 32 points in 43 games. He’s a right wing who shoots right-handed and is a proven, physical scorer from the USHL.
Michael Mancinelli, Forward
Similar to O’Reilly, Mancinelli was committed to an NCHC school before flipping to ASU. He was originally committed to North Dakota before changing to the Sun Devils.
Mancinelli is one of two incoming players who hail from Northville, MI and he is another product of the USHL. He registered 26 points (16 G, 10 A) in 45 games with the Des Moines Buccaneers in 2019-20, and he previously played for the Fargo Force and the Madison Capitals.
He was sixth in league scoring, and he will be a center looking to win face-offs and play the whole length of the ice with ASU. Powers has compared Mancinelli to former Sun Devil forward Brett Gruber.
Matthew Kopperud, Forward
Kopperud is coming to ASU from a familiar USHL program with the Dubuque Fighting Saints - the same junior team that produced fellow ASU defensemen Jacob Semik and Josh Maniscalco, as well as forwards Willie Knierim and James Sanchez.
Kopperud spent 2019-20 putting up big numbers in Dubuque, registering 41 points (24 A, 17 G) in 43 games.
A Denver, CO native, the left shot forward also spent the 2018-19 season playing his junior hockey north of the border with the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
With the Centennials, Kopperud had a career-high 51 points, including 27 goals. He originally committed to ASU in September 2018, and he attended one of the program’s first summer camps before the inaugural year for the Sun Devil program in 2015.
Benji Eckerle, Forward
The second Northville, MI native in the class, Eckerle had 34 points in 48 games with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL in 2019-20. He also held a +16 plus/minus.
Eckerle played youth hockey with Mancinelli growing up, and this past year marked a career-high in points while he played with his junior team.
Carson Kosobud, Defenseman
The only incoming defenseman, Kosobud looks to add to a deep defense core in Tempe. The left shot d-man is 6-feet, 190 pounds out of Moorhead, MN.
Similar to current Sun Devil forward Demetrios Koumontzis, Kosobud played high school hockey in Minnesota after growing up in Arizona for part of his life.
As for juniors, he played 57 games in 2019-20 with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. He’ll look to add to the back end and strengthen the core of the Sun Devil defensive unit.
Cole Brady, Goaltender
Brady is an imposing presence in net. Standing at 6-foot-5, 175 pounds, the Pickering, Ontario native is another Canadian to join the program, and he will be the most towering netminder to date.
Brady is a 2019 fifth-round selection of the New Jersey Devils, and he posted a 2.79 goals against average this past season with the Fargo Force in the USHL.
Prior to that, he put together a .912 save percentage and a 2.79 GAA with the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League in 2018-19.
He’ll compete with fellow Sun Devil goaltenders Justin Robbins and Evan DeBrouwer entering next season, along with working alongside volunteer goaltender coach Eddie Lack.
Looking Further Ahead
While we highlighted next year’s incoming ASU players on the ice who are already signed, Powers also has more talent on its way.
Although they haven’t yet put pen to paper, here’s a look at future players who are already committed for future seasons at ASU.