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Jr. Coyotes trio moves closer to NHL dreams, selected in 2021 NHL Draft


Three Arizona natives and Jr. Coyotes graduates became property of NHL teams during the 2021 NHL Draft, which was conducted virtually July 23-24.

Forward Josh Doan (Scottsdale) went to the Arizona Coyotes in the second round (37th overall), while forward Matt Knies (Phoenix) was chosen by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round as well at No. 57, followed by forward Red Savage (Scottsdale) heading to the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth round (114th overall).

“Being selected by Arizona would be an honor for anyone who grew up (here),” Doan said. “No matter where you’re from, it’s always going to be an honor to be selected by the team that’s from your home city. Being around the (local) rinks my whole life, as a kid, it just makes it that much sweeter, and cooler. Growing up with my dad and going to his games and being a part of the fan side made it a really cool experience today for me and my family.”

Doan, the son of Coyotes legend Shane Doan, will be playing NCAA Division I hockey for Arizona State University this fall.

“At the end of the day, something I’ve wanted is to come back to Arizona,” said Doan. “That’s why I picked ASU. I love the state and the people. I think I carved my own path by going to Chicago, doing my own thing in the USHL and choosing to go to college. To be able to tie it all together and come back to Arizona is definitely special.”

Knies spent the past two seasons with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm and is off to NCAA D-I University of Minnesota for the 2021-22 season.

COLOR nhl_draft_logo“It’s hard to put into words how excited and honored I am to be drafted by the Maples Leafs,” Knies said. “It was always a dream and a goal of mine to get here, and I’m so grateful for everyone’s support along the way. Something I’ll never forget about my time in Kearney is the people. Everyone was extremely welcoming, from the community to the coaches, and my awesome billet family. Kearney meant the world to me, and I’m so grateful I got to play my junior hockey career in such a wonderful place.”

Savage played 2019-21 with USA Hockey’s NTDP in Plymouth, Mich., about 40 minutes from Detroit.

He capped off his season as captain of the United States at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, scoring one goal in five games. He also has prior ties to Michigan, playing his youth hockey with Belle Tire (2016-17) and Compuware (2017-19).

The son of former NHLer Brian Savage, Red has had hockey in his blood since birth.

“He’s taught me the biggest things about becoming a good hockey player are the things you do away from the rink,” Savage said about his dad. “It’s the preparation and putting yourself in the best spot to strive, so it’s something that I’m that I’m hoping to do and follow in his footsteps.”

This fall, Savage will play NCAA D-I hockey at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

— Matt Mackinder

(July 28, 2021)

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