DU Recruit Always Wanted To Play For Pioneers

(left) Scott Mayfield is projected to be drafted in the early rounds of the 2011 NHL Draft

From: Webster-Kirkwood Times
by Rick Frese

2011 DU recruit Scott Mayfield, 17, is living out his dream. A year early, in fact.

Mayfield, a Webster Groves native, is a top defenseman for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The league is an outstanding developer of National Hockey League talent and has more than 100 alumni on NHL rosters.

To play for the Phantoms, Mayfield transferred from Webster Groves High School to Ursuline High School, a co-ed Catholic school located in Youngstown, Ohio, last summer.

"Everything happened so quickly," said Dave Garth, Mayfield's high school hockey coach at Webster Groves. "I figured to lose him during his senior year."

Mayfield, a junior, already has been offered a college scholarship to play hockey at the University of Denver, a top-flight men's hockey team that has won seven NCAA championships. Mayfield's father, Andrew, graduated from that school's law school.

Mayfield has verbally committed to Denver but he can't officially sign until his senior year next fall. The offer came during a visit at the campus last June.

"I've always wanted to play there," he said. "I've had a (Denver University hockey) jersey hanging in my room since I was seven or eight. This summer was really big for me."

Mayfield, a rangy, physical 6-foot-4, 190 pounder, is considered a potential draft choice in the National Hockey League entry draft. He becomes eligible for the draft in 2011 after his senior year in high school. He plans on returning to Youngstown for his senior season.

"My goal is to play college hockey," Mayfield said. "I'm not thinking too much about that. I just keep working hard."

Mayfield paused for a moment.

"If I am drafted, there is one place I'd liked to be drafted and that's with St. Louis," he said.

Because of his physical size, Mayfield said he patterns his play after former Blues All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger, now a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. Mayfield said he likes to rush the puck in the defender's zone. He is a physical player, who doesn't mind going into the corners.

Mayfield is one of the younger players in the USHL, a league made up of 17 to 21-year-olds. He has 119 minutes in penalties and has been in one fight and several other pushing matches. He has scored seven goals and has added seven assists through 40 games.

"My speed and awareness are keys to my ability to rush the ice," Mayfield said. "I'm a pretty offensive-minded defenseman."

Mayfield said he struggled in the beginning of his rookie season in the USHL.

"The first 10 to 15 games were rough," he said. "The speed of the game and playing against older players made it difficult. I'm evened out now. I feel like I can handle the puck. I'm just quicker. I wasn't used to the faster players, the speed of the game. It all went away after the first 10-15 games."

Phantoms Assistant General Manager Joe Koehler liked Mayfield so much that he acquired him from the Indiana Ice last June. He said he believes Mayfield to be "a standout young defenseman who will be able to play in all situations – that's why we traded for him. He has good hockey sense, can move the puck well and enjoys the physical play. We see a high ceiling with him."

As a sophomore, Mayfield began to get noticed while playing for the St. Louis Amateur Blues Under-16 AAA team. He capped off a year in which he performed well at the Under-16 AAA Midget Minor Nationals tournament and USA Hockey's Select Under-17 Festival and impressed scouts at the Phantoms' tryouts at Boardman's Ice Zone in June.

Mayfield represented the 21-player U.S. Under-18 select team at a two-week Ivan Hlinka Memorial national tournament in Slovokia last August, where he was a mainstay on the team's fourth-place finish in the event.

"Scott bloomed this spring and his stock just exploded," Koehler said last summer. "He has a ton of upside and projects to be a high-end college player and a pro prospect."

As soon as he returned from Slovokia, it was off to Youngstown.

"It's a whole different life up here," Mayfield said.

But, as Mayfield knows, it's just a stepping stone


dggoddard said...

Drew and Nick Shore's parents met at DU's Law School and now Mayfield's dad went there.

Who knew that DU's Law School was going to become a breeding ground of elite hockey players? No wonder former Chancellor Ritchie spent millions expanding the law school.

Twister said...

Hmmmmm---a defenseman who is 6'4, will be over 200 pounds when gets here, has a nasty streak, and has some offensive skills. I like it!

dggoddard said...

Plus he's got legal bloodlines to argue calls with the referee.

Future Pioneer Captain material?

msbdu said...

Shore could be co-counsel in the debates with Anderson