Jr. Coyotes’ Doan, Knies make NCAA Division I decisions
Josh Doan and Matthew Knies have both been longtime Jr. Coyotes Elite Program standouts and will play junior hockey in the USHL next season before heading off to college hockey down the road.
Doan, a forward who will play for the Chicago Steel in 2019-20, recently committed to Arizona State University, while Knies, another forward, is set to play for the Tri-City Storm in the fall before going to the University of Minnesota. Both are looking at landing on their respective campuses in the fall of 2021.
Both have positive hockey influences on their side as Doan’s father is Arizona Coyotes legend Shane Doan, while Knies’ older brother, Phil, plays NCAA D-I hockey for Miami University in Ohio.
As well, Knies and Doan both stayed in Arizona for their entire youth hockey lives, from Mites to Midgets, wearing the Jr. Coyotes colors. Along with a great surrounding cast, each also competed in three straight national tournaments.
“I think I got this opportunity to play at ASU because I have been lucky to have great coaches and teammates that have challenged me over the years,” said Doan (pictured top). “CAHA has prepared me because every coach at the rink has played or coached kids that are playing at a junior or collegiate level, and they are willing to help you out and answer questions whenever need be in order to make sure you’re ready to take that next step.
“Committing to college is a dream come true, but it helps motivate you to realize you’re that much closer to playing at a professional level or even every hockey kid’s dream of playing in the NHL.”
Knies (pictured below) is in agreement with his teammate on how the Jr. Coyotes prep players to skate at higher levels.
“Throughout my 16U year the with Jr. Coyotes, Minnesota had seen me play several times and had reached out to me,” Knies said. “During the Tier I championships in Blaine, Minn., me and my father took an extra day after the tournament to see the campus in person as well as meet the coaches. Right away, I fell in love with Minnesota and made my decision. Ever since I’ve been a little kid, I wanted to play Division I college hockey. This is a part of my lifelong dream and its awesome to see it all come together. I see playing college hockey at Minnesota as a huge opportunity to play in the NHL, which would then finally fulfill my lifelong dream.
“Each and every year with the Jr. Coyotes, I took a step closer to my goals. We always had a very good team and every day, I practiced against some of the strongest and best 2002s in the nation. We would have workouts with professional trainers that help me be prepared physically. I had coaches such as Shane Doan, Mike DeAngelis, Steve Potvin, Steve Sullivan and Mark Ciaccio who helped me every step of the way. I’m very grateful for what they have done for me and the person they made me become.”
Growing up around an NHL legend helped Doan love and appreciate hockey.
“Ever since I was 1, I’ve had a mini stick in my hand,” he said. “The Coyotes have played a huge role in that since my dad played for them and I grew up around the rink and at their games. My dad had a huge influence on me and my decision to play hockey in the desert. Just watching him play and then him playing with me at home are some of my earliest memories. As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a hockey player like my dad.”
“My brother has been my biggest influence on me for everything,” Knies added. “Whatever he got, I wanted. Whatever he did, I was right there to follow him. So when he started playing hockey, there I was following him again. I’m truly blessed to have such a brother and a great role model, I’m so proud of what he has accomplished and if not for him I wouldn’t be here.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Aug. 14, 2019)