NCAA Division I St. Lawrence the next stop for San Diego’s Deckhut
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St. Lawrence University checked a lot of boxes for San Diego native Sam Deckhut.
“I liked the coaches, and I knew (head coach) Brent Brekke from his time at Miami,” said Deckhut, who committed to the NCAA Division I Saints (ECAC Hockey) in mid-February. “I like that it’s a smaller school, the academics are strong, the new rink looks awesome, and they’re trying to build a family culture.”
Deckhut, who is a junior forward at Salisbury Prep in Connecticut (pictured), is a 5-foot-10 forward who plays the game with pace and a playmaker’s eye. That, however, doesn’t come at the expense of other areas of the game.
“I’ve worked hard to develop my 200-foot game,” he said. “Off the ice, the prep school does a great job seeing how you’re doing each day and lending support when you need it.”
Deckhut, a 2002 birth year, began playing for the San Diego Saints out of the Kroc Center. He also skated for the La Jolla Jaguars and the Anaheim Jr. Ducks before playing three seasons for the San Diego Jr. Gulls.
He called Jr. Gulls coaches Craig Carlyle, Phil Bateman and Noah Babin huge influences on helping him grow his game.
“He’s a great leader, but he does it more by example than being loud,” said Carlyle, who coached Deckhut at 13U AAA. “He’s not real big, but nobody could hit him. He was slippery, a very shifty skater. His agility stands out, and he has great hockey sense, but he’s not a one-dimensional player. He always was very good on defense.”
The 2002 Jr. Gulls group won the 14U CAHA Tier I state title in 2017.
“That was a pretty special group,” recalled Carlyle, the Jr. Gulls’ hockey director. “And Sam was a big part of that. He was our most talented player, and he had been for a few years.”
It was with the Jr. Gulls that he experienced his favorite California hockey memory – playing in the Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament in 2015.
“Even though we lost in the final, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Deckhut said. “I enjoyed my host family there a lot and playing the final game in an NHL rink was incredible.”
— Chris Bayee
(April 8, 2020)