ASU women's hockey holds its annual prospect camp

ASU had prospective players from Arizona and abroad at Oceanside Arena this past weekend

In 100-degree temperatures and in the middle of a desert lied an oasis for women’s hockey over the weekend.

This past Saturday and Sunday, the ASU women’s hockey team hosted its annual prospect camp to scout for up-and-coming prospective players.

The camp sold out quickly, and there was even excess demand from other players who couldn’t attend the festivities because of the large numbers of players in attendance. 

On June 16-17, the program will take to the road for its first out-of-state prospect camp in Minnesota, and it too, is already sold out.

“This is the largest and biggest geography group that we have had (at a prospect camp),” ASU head coach Lindsey Ellis said. “We have 11 different states and two (prospects) from Canada, so in terms of visibility for our program, we know it’s out there now just because of the sheer numbers and where the girls are coming from ... I am absolutely ecstatic about where it’s heading.”

In the program’s first two years of existence, ASU has predominantly played with a very small cast of players, creating constant fatigue and depth issues.

At points throughout the team’s first two seasons, ASU played with two lines and sometimes just 9-12 players, making it extremely difficult to consistently compete at a high level over the course of a demanding hockey season. 

However, during a scrimmage between the prospects on Sunday, both teams had the ability to roll different lines onto the ice, and there was finally a feeling for the program that the tides were beginning to turn in regards to player development and depth.

“This is the most excited that we have been for the future of our program,” Ellis said. “We just feel the energy of the girls and how excited they are, and how many people want to come to ASU ... Girls are excited and believe in the same visions as us.”

As Ellis noted, many of the prospective players foresee a vision that mirrors the Sun Devils head coach, and that is a vision that started all the way back when Ellis was still in college at Miami-Ohio, and she had the idea of creating a collegiate women’s hockey team back in the area where she grew up.

Through somewhat of a grassroots effort, Ellis got the program off and running. But with such a small roster size and some growing pains, ASU has had its work cut out for it in its first two seasons.

“I think the biggest thing for me was just our list (of prospective players), and looking at the amount of players who could come here next year,” assistant coach Kaley Marino said of the camp. “These girls are really right in-line to get started with us, and I think that was huge, just getting that amount of prospects this close to the coming season.”

As for what is attracting players to ASU, there has been a variety of factors varying from player to player. 

With talented prospects ranging from Arizona and abroad, the eventual goal of the young program is to compete for ACHA national championships on a consistent basis.

“They (the coaches) made sure to follow up with me,” said ASU incoming freshman Sheridan Gloyd of what attracted her to the program. “They would come watch me at my games and I saw them at a couple of my tournaments. They are just really hands-on, and they want to get to know you as a player and a person.”

Gloyd participated in this weekend’s camp and she is already committed to ASU for the 2018-19 season. She will suit up for the Sun Devils as a defenseman, and she is as a local product who played her club hockey with the U19 Arizona Lady Coyotes.

With so much in store, the hockey season can’t come soon enough for ASU. 

A schedule has already been set for next year, and with so many talented young players chomping at the bit to take the ice, the weekend’s prospect camp served as a good preview of what the future entails.

“Looking back to our first year, I think we had less than 20 girls at our camp,” Ellis said. “It’s getting to the point where we have girls coming to the West ... Usually it was girls going to the East to play hockey. Now they are coming to the West. I definitely think that we are starting a trend, and that’s something that we are so proud of.”

Reach the reporter at or follow @AndrewBell7 on Twitter.

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepressport on Twitter.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.