The Arizona State University Sun Devils hockey team has officially signed local hockey player Ryan Quast.
The 20-year-old athlete has gathered the attention of university scouts due to his time playing for the Nelson Leafs in Nelson, B.C.
Hailing from Hanna, Alta. Quast has actively participated in the local hockey community since he was four or five years old. Eventually, he started playing for hockey teams in Cochrane and Calgary in high school.
He was then scouted by the Nelson Leafs Junior B team where he has played for the last two years.
“Ever since I was younger, I guess I’ve always kind of wanted to go to university and play hockey,” Quast said. “So then, when I was playing junior out in BC and had that opportunity to go down to the state, so it’s been really exciting to make that happen.”
Quast played as a forward for the Nelson Leafs. While playing, Quast tied for the team lead with 36 points in 44 games and added three goals in six Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Teck Cup Championship games.
Quast caught the attention of a few different teams; however, he decided to join the Sun Devils based on school and coaching.
“I had a couple of different options. But that was the one school that I kind of wanted to go to, and the coaches really liked me and so that’s kind of where my decision landed,” Quast said.
Although Quast has yet to determine what will happen to his hockey career after university, he will spend the next four years completing his degree at Arizona State University in Phoenix, majoring in business with a minor in law.
“I’ll be down in Arizona for four years. I’m doing my degree. So kind of play out my four years and see what happens,” Quast said. “Probably just finish after that, unless I have another opportunity come up.”
Quast had already met with the coaches and some of his new team members when he went and visited the school a couple of months ago.
“I know a handful of guys that will be on the team I’ve either played against in the past or just met while I went there,” Quast said.
He explained that having played against other members previously will also help bring them closer together as a team.
In preparation for the upcoming season, Quast commits himself to training diligently. He spends significant time in the gym, focusing on building strength and seizes every opportunity to hit the ice and refine his skills.
“I’m definitely focusing on improving my scoring and being able to be a leader in that way,” Quast said, speaking about the upcoming season. “And having a spot on the power play and penalty kill sort of thing.
Quast and his family are excited about his move to Arizona. Quast said he is also excited for his parents to be able to come to watch him play hockey in places that they have never been.
Quast offered some advice to young hockey players who might want to follow the same path as him who play in smaller communities.
“Just always push yourself and make sure you’re getting out there,” Quast said. “And even in situations where you might be nervous to kind of go play with people who are better than you, just make that step and push yourself to do that, because they will always make you better, and get you to that next level sort of thing.”