Josh Doan says ‘it was hard’ to leave ASU to go pro with Coyotes
Josh Doan has donned the Arizona Coyotes logo since he was born, when his father Shane Doan played for the team. Now, Josh gets a chance to wear the logo professionally after signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Coyotes.
“We always envisioned him taking that next step into the American (Hockey) League, into the NHL and so for us, we just thought he had accomplished what he needed to and ASU had done a great job with developing him and we believed his next step was to be a pro hockey player,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said to the media on Thursday.
Despite improving from his freshman to sophomore year and building the necessary resume to go pro, it was not an easy decision.
“It was something I didn’t really expect … for the past couple of weeks I’ve been debating it and talking back and forth with my family about it,” Doan said. “Obviously the decision was to turn pro.
“It was hard because of how much I loved ASU and the coaching staff and the players there … but Tuesday night my dad and I talked for about two hours and … it was something that we came to the conclusion that what was best for me and I think it’s the right decision and we’re going to stick with it.”
After weighing the pros and cons with his father, Doan admitted that getting more reps late into a season was an important next step in his development process that he couldn’t get if he stuck with collegiate hockey.
“College hockey you end in March … a couple times in a row it’s not something that you are thrilled about and you get 39 games at the max and getting to play a full season is huge,” Doan said.
“But then again, moving up in the ranks, the NHL and AHL is the best development in the world and there’s a reason they build players in those leagues and part of me and my family’s decision was getting to work with the coaching staff down there and the coaching staff here as well.”
After scoring 28 goals and adding 49 assists in 74 games through two seasons at ASU, Doan had a difficult task in telling Sun Devils head coach Greg Powers his decision.
“I think that was probably one of the hardest conversations I’ve had is just telling him (Powers) and he took it like he takes everything with us,” Doan said. “It was awesome and he said he kind of figured it was coming.
“He knew that was my heart’s intentions were to go and sign at the end of the year and he said he needed to know so he could start building the team for next year and move forward but ever since then we’ve kept in touch and he’s been supporting me through the whole thing.”
If Doan does play with the Coyotes sometime over the next few years, he gets the unique opportunity to play on the same ice that he did as a Sun Devil.
Playing at Mullett Arena as a Coyote may be put on a different level though.
“Getting the opportunity to play in the same arena is cool and it’s something we’ve kind of laughed about all year,” Doan said. “And hopefully when I get the opportunity to someday. it means a little more because it’s where I played college as well and I have a lot of memories already in the arena.”