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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Josh Doan has a name and number that separate him from the Arizona Coyotes’ other top prospects, but that’s nothing new for him.
No matter where the 20-year-old forward prospect has played hockey growing up in suburban Phoenix, he was accompanied by the anticipation and expectation that came with being the son of Coyotes icon Shane Doan.
For the younger Doan, an NHL future wasn’t supposed to be just a dream; it was his destiny.
“My whole life I’ve been putting the ’19’ on the back of my jersey for my dad, just cheering him on,” Josh Doan said during Coyotes development camp in July. “Now, to finally have my own number and to be part of the organization myself, it’s really cool to experience. There is nowhere I’d rather be.”
A second-round pick (No. 37) in the 2021 NHL Draft, Josh Doan is trying to make a name, and a number, for himself. Instead of wearing his father’s No. 19, which the Coyotes retired on Feb. 24, 2019, he’s wearing No. 91.
It’s a tribute to his father, the Coyotes’ all-time leader in goals (402), assists (570), points (972) and games played (1,540), and their chief hockey development officer since 2021.
The number also is recognition that Josh Doan is forging his own path to the NHL.
“You get excited about the opportunity to have him chase his dream and kind of do what he wants,” Shane Doan said during development camp. “As a dad, yeah, without a doubt [it’s exciting] when your son kind of moves on to the next level. There’s always an element of excitement, of the unknown.”
Josh Doan (6-foot-1, 183 pounds) is expected to attend Coyotes training camp next month, but the plan for this season is for him to return to Arizona State. Last season he set ASU records for most points (37) and assists (25) by a freshman.
It also will be an opportunity for him to play his college home games in the same arena where he hopes to begin his NHL career. The Coyotes will play the next three seasons at Mullett Arena, Arizona State’s new 5,000-seat on-campus arena in Tempe.
“What ASU is doing right now, it’s not the worst option to develop there,” Doan said.
That’s why Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 already are anticipated dates on Arizona State’s schedule this season. That’s when Doan and ASU play forward Logan Cooley and the University of Minnesota. Cooley was selected by the Coyotes with the No. 3 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and roomed with Doan during development camp.
“I think that’s definitely circled on the calendar,” Doan said. “We’re excited for that game, and I think we’re ready to show them that we’re a team that can compete with those kind of teams. It should be a fun weekend.”
For father and son.
“He’s probably surpassed me in a lot of things and can do things that I could never do,” Shane Doan said. “He holds on to the puck and protects the puck really well. It’s a skill that serves you really well. He’s got a great hockey IQ.”
Or exactly what Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong looks for in a prospect, regardless of his last name.
“If you want to win a championship, I’ve always felt that when the pressure’s on, you’ve got to make the right play in the hockey sense to do that,” Armstrong said. “One of the first criteria that has to be met as we pick hockey players is their hockey sense. If you want to win, it’s a huge factor.”
Photos: Kelsey Grant/Arizona Coyotes
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