No. 15 Arizona State, Homegrown Johnny Walker Taking NCAA In Stride

“New Year, new me” isn’t necessary for Arizona State, as the Sun Devils and NCAA leading goal scorer Johnny Walker head into 2019 leaning on experience in their second season of Division I hockey.

The Devils jumped into DI NCAA hockey last season, where they struggled out of the gate and sat at just 3-8-3 through November. The jump to the top tier showed to be a difficult one as wins were few and far between.

Their only consecutive victories came during the Inaugural Ice Vegas Invitational, where they downed a couple of WCHA opponents in Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech to claim the tournament title.



It was a bright spot in a forgettable transition period as the team finished the campaign 8-21-5. But the in-season tournament wasn’t the only bright spot; freshman Johnny Walker recorded 17 goals and 24 points in 32 games, trailing only sophomores Brinson Pasichnuk and Brett Gruber.

The trio of underclassmen showed the promise behind the Devils’ trident-clad jerseys. Eight of Walker’s points (7 G, 1 A) came in seven of the team’s eight wins, as he was the key component to the machine.

This year, the Phoenix-native has taken the next step in his sophomore year. Walker leads the NCAA with 18 goals in 21 games, while his team-leading 25 points are tied for fifth nationally. He’s first in powerplay goals with eight, and tied for third in game-winning goals with four.

But Walker has been more than a goal-scorer during his college career. With 71 penalty minutes collected over his season and a half with the Devils, he’s also been a thorn in the opposition’s side.

“At the end of the day, you play the game to have fun and that’s why you started. Some people get caught up in playing to move to the next level,” Walker told Jacob Janower of Sporting News. “My goal was to play college hockey when I was younger. I finally made it, and it’s time to have some fun with it. Every day I get to play is a little gravy on top, a little extra.”

Walker’s passion for the game has seen him embrace every outing to the fullest and help carry the Devils to a 14-7-1 record and No. 15 national rank. The team’s 8-2 home record has been backed by Walker’s 12 goals and 14 points scored at ASU’s Oceanside Ice Arena.

It goes along with his style as he offers the fans excitement and dedication to the rising team and program in the desert. 

Walker will look to stay hot as the Devils host Boston College this weekend. The Eagles hold a 6-7-2 record, but have gone 3-1-1 in their past five.


Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.

Hockey East's Biggest NHL Prospects

Hockey East featured six first-round, NHL Draft picks last season, including Hobey Baker winner Cale Makar, who joined the Colorado Avalanche for their playoff run just days after leading UMass to the National Championship game. 

Minnesota State's Marc Michaelis Reflects On IIHF World Championships

Minnesota State captain Marc Michaelis opened last month’s IIHF World Championships in street clothes. While his German countrymen were racking up wins against the lesser hockey nations from Group A, he was in the press box gnashing his teeth.

More Ways To Watch FloHockey

null

Never Miss A Moment

No Home Ice Advantage, Blues Take Home Stanley Cup

BOSTON – The “championship drought” continues for the city of Boston.

Most Impactful Moments Of The Stanley Cup

Forty-nine years after being swept by the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, the St. Louis Blues got their revenge with a 5-1, Game 7 victory.

The Shot Of A Lifetime

It was the shot of a lifetime. Certainly Ray Lussier’s lifetime. 

Huge Crowd, Big Blues Letdown

ST. LOUIS – “Sellout crowd” would be an understatement at Enterprise Center on Sunday night.

Suitors Aplenty For Winnipeg Jets' Jacob Trouba

Last week I highlighted Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba as an NHL star on the trade block this summer and suitors should be lining up for his services.

No Overshadowing Zdeno Chara's Night

It was supposed to be a modern-day Willis Reed moment.

Carvel And Makar, The Farewell Address

There was pressure on UMass head coach Greg Carvel to produce. It was the Hobey Baker Banquet, a month after the Hobey Baker Award, and everyone in the room wanted to hear something they didn’t already know about college hockey’s generational star.