Evan DeBrouwer Ready For The Jump To NCAA Hockey
Sunshine and ice aren’t always the first combination one thinks of. Blenheim’s Evan DeBrouwer, will soaking in that sun, and spending significant time on the ice next season, as he begins his NCAA career with the Division I Arizona State Sun Devils.
The experience of earning an NCAA scholarship is just now sinking in on DeBrouwer, as he committed while entering the BCHL playoffs with the Prince George Spruce Kings.
“I didn’t have much time to think about it because I had to focus on the playoffs,” said DeBrouwer. “Looking at it now, I am excited and I am proud of myself. It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever accomplished – emotionally and physically. Getting a Division I scholarship has been my goal for the last five years, so it feels great to have accomplished that.”
DeBrouwer took an alternative path to many local players. After a strong Minor Midget ‘AAA’ campaign with Elgin-Middlesex, DeBrouwer bypassed two years of Junior eligibility to play for Ridley College, before jumping into the Junior A ranks in the CCHL, and then BCHL.
Now, he’s headed to Arizona State, a school he feels is the perfect mix of opportunity on and off the ice.
“I chose Arizona State because I feel that it offers the best opportunity for me both on ice and in school. The coaches are very clear-eyed about what they expect of me and the team in the upcoming years, and they were clear on that from day one. Their ultimate goal is to bring the hockey program to a National Championship, and I want to be part of that winning program.”
The Arizona State University men’s hockey program has been around as an ACHA team for years, but took the ice for the first time in the NCAA in 2015-2016, meaning it is a young program, still watching their first recruiting classes mature.
“I’m excited about joining a new program,” said DeBrouwer, who will study business at ASU. “There’s a chance to do something special here. The opportunity to help build a winning team really attracted me to ASU. The university has the resources to attract top-tier talent, so I have no doubt that we’ll be competitive in the near future.”
Arizona State’s coaching staff also believes in the netminder, who had a 2.24 GAA and .920 save percentage in 45 BCHL games last year improving those numbers to 2.24 and .925 in 24 playoff games.
“Evan is a 6-foot-3, athletic and smooth goaltender that can play the puck tremendously well,” said Arizona State head coach Greg Powers in a team news release. “What he’s done in Prince George this season is really impressive and we think we are getting a very high-end goaltender that projects to be a great college goaltender. He will instantly give us great depth at the most important position on our roster.”
With the expectations for winning, and for his own performance in the next few seasons high, it’s now up to DeBrouwer, who will move to Arizona this month, to prepare for his first season of NCAA hockey.
“Right now, I’m just focused on getting prepared for the next level. Division I hockey is such a big step up from what I’ve been playing, so I haven’t been thinking too far into the future.”
Last season Arizona State played as an independent school finishing with an 8-21-5 record.