TEMPE, Ariz. -- Just days after winning the program's first ever ACHA national championship, Arizona State head coach Greg Powers promised that his Sun Devils "will reload. We will not rebuild."
So far, Powers, recently named the 2013-2014 ACHA Coach of the Year, is making good on that proclamation.
Last week, Powers added defenseman Gianni Mangone, capping a lengthy pursuit of the talented Calgary native.
"Gianni is a kid I have been recruiting now for two years," Powers said.
One the ice, the 5-foot-8, 179-pound Mangone brings a skilled presence to an ASU blueline that could use an offensive boost.
"He is a very dynamic player on the back end that fits in perfectly with our quick transition game," Powers said. "I love D who can move the puck and join the rush and Gianni is just that."
The 20-year-old Mangone comes to ASU after spending the past four seasons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Last year, while splitting time between the Calgary Canucks and the Whitecourt Wolverines, he notched 37 points (16 goals) in 48 games. That success in a talented league stood out to his new head coach.
"He played his Jr. A hockey in a very high level league and had numbers that are high end for a forward, let a alone a D-man," Powers said. "He comes from a great family and will fit in perfectly to our culture and I'm confident is a key piece to helping us defend our national championship."
On Friday, Powers went back to the Calgary well to sign the second new Sun Devil.
Fellow AJHL veteran Connor Mailey will come to Tempe after four seasons in the league, all with the Camrose Kodiaks. Like Mangone, the pursuit of Mailey was long in the making.
"Connor is another Calgary kid I've been recruiting for two years," Power said. "He decided to go back for his 20-year-old year and had his best season yet.
Mailey is a 6-foot, 175-pound forward that brings a versatile skillset to ASU, which should make him a great fit for the offense. Lats season, he scored 17 goals and registered 46 points, while picking up 66 PIMs, in 57 games for Camrose.
"He is a great all around player that literally can do it all," Power said. "He can make plays, score goals, grind it out, and most importantly is an incredible team first guy which is the only kind of kid we will bring in.
Powers also raves about Mailey's intangibles, something that will help to fill the void left by the eight departing seniors, including captain Colin Hekle.
"Camrose is known as an organization that prides itself on hard working players," Powers said. "Connor was not only a three-year guy in that organization but he also wore the 'C' as their captain last year and did a tremendous job. We won't commit to a kid unless we know he can positively affect our family-first culture inside of our locker-room and Connor will do just that. Its obviously icing on cake he is an immediate impact level talent."
Last year, ASU struck gold with their recruiting class.
Robert Levin put together arguably the greatest goaltending season in program history and was named the MVP of the national tournament. Forward Ryan Ostertag notched 20 goals on the year and was pegged by Powers as the future "face" of Sun Devil hockey. Winger Sean Murphy finished fifth on the team in scoring with 36 points, leading a deep group of new forwards. Alex Temby and Drew Newmeyer became instant contributors on defense.
That standard may be hard to match this year, but with Mangone and Mailey now in the fold, Powers' Sun Devils are off to a great start.