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Josh Doan charting his own course despite familial waters

Craig Morgan Avatar
April 11, 2022

Shane Doan always encouraged his son, Josh, to chart a course that was separate from his dad’s considerable legacy in Arizona. But Shane’s and Andrea’s values made such an impression on Josh — and his parents made him so comfortable and confident in his own skin that Josh chose to play hockey at Arizona State. 

When the Coyotes selected him in the second round (No. 37) of the 2021 NHL Draft, it became clear that Josh’s hockey legacy would be inextricably linked to his dad’s.

“I think that part of that burden of being a Doan in Arizona went away at a young age because my dad said, ‘Be you,’” Josh said. “He pushed for me to be my own person and to have my own passions in life; to seek what I want and what I think is necessary. 

“At the same time, he does a very good job of being a role model in my life, not only as my dad, but just as a person you can look up to. When you look at it that way, I don’t think I want to stray too far away from trying to emulate the way he lived his life. That’s one of the things I admire most about him is how he lives his day-to-day life, so I follow in his footsteps more than he thinks.”

Time will tell which trails Josh will blaze in the Valley, but we’re proud to play a small role in building the latest Doan’s hockey legacy. On Monday, Josh Doan became PHNX Sports’ first Valley athlete to join the ALLCITY first team roster by signing a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deal. He joins three DNVR Sports NIL signees: projected NFL draft picks Trey McBride from Colorado State, Nate Landman from Colorado, and projected NBA draft David Roddy from Colorado State.

Doan will appear on shows once a week, he will take part in autograph signings for PHNX members, and PHNX will roll out a custom shirt designed with his likeness.

Before PHNX signed Josh, we reached out to Shane and ASU coach Greg Powers out of respect. Both were fully onboard with the decision.

“In this market, he should be the poster child for it,” Powers said. “Anything associated with the Doan name means something to people here in the Valley. Does anyone like anyone more than they like Shane Doan and Josh Doan? 

“There’s a good reason why they are so popular. Josh just does not care about personal gain. He just wants to win. He’s like his dad. He’s a great leader. He’s a great teammate. He just makes us better as a program in every way.”

Faith and the way that his own parents raised him had a major hand in Shane’s parenting approach, but when asked about Josh, he handed credit to others.

“He spent more time with his mom than he ever did with me so when he does things wrong that’s usually me. When he does things right that’s usually Andrea,” Shane said, laughing. “The truth is, “I don’t take any credit for him — Andrea and I don’t — that’s just who our kids are. Josh being genuine and kind is just who he is. He was given a gentle heart; a good heart. His brothers and sisters are close as a group and they are as comfortable as anybody you’ll meet in who they are.”

Forward Josh Doan played two seasons for the USHL’s Chicago Steel, totaling 36 goals and 84 points in 98 games. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Steel)

Josh made a quick transition from juniors to NCAA hockey. One season after finishing third in the USHL in points (70) and helping the Chicago Steel win the Clark Cup as league champs, Doan led all NCAA Division I freshmen during the 2021-22 regular season with 37 points in 35 games.

“Having guys like Johnny Walker and Colin Theisen and Jacob Wilson that have been around the game for a while now, they were able to kind of guide me and teach me the ropes.

“On the ice, it was definitely just about adjusting to the pace of play. I think the guys are all smarter at the next level. They just keep getting smarter and faster and more skilled so decisions have to be made quicker, and that’s something I had to work on early on. Hopefully, I can take that with me next year.”

The million-dollar question on every Coyotes fan’s lips is this: How long will Josh remain at ASU? How much more development will he need before getting the chance to follow directly in his dad’s footsteps with the Coyotes?

“It’s such an up-in-the air question because it depends on so many things, including how much I develop and mature over the next year or two,” he said. “It’s a completely different game at the next level so I think the more mature and the more ready you are, the easier it will be to step into whatever level you’re going to play after college, whether it’s down south in Tucson or here.

“I’ve talked with the guys on our team and our coaches about how I do want to win here and be a part of a team that makes a push and hopefully wins a national championship. I do think that we have a chance to be really good the next couple of years so I’m looking forward to next year at ASU and then you just reevaluate again at the end of the year and see where we’re at.”

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