We continue our series looking at our players aging out of junior hockey with a man who proved that you indeed can come home again, forward Clayton Dawe.
A former prep standout for Christian Brothers College and the AAA Blues, the 6’, 180 lb right-hander from Wildwood, Mo. initially went to the East Coast to begin his junior hockey career. However, for his final junior season he decided to join several old friends and youth teammates back at home with the Jr. Blues, and he described the difference in attitudes between his old team and St. Louis as like night and day.
“It was really a lot more professional here, especially with [pre-game] meals, practice preparation, and video work,” Dawe said. “Also what stood out as being different was development. We never had guys go up [to higher levels] there like we did here in St. Louis.”
Dawe made the most of his season with the Jr. Blues, scoring 38 points (10 G, 28 A) in 40 total games and finishing the year with a +29 rating. Like a number of his teammates, his favorite moment of the season was the sweep of Granite City that closed out the home schedule.
“Clayton was a guy who really bought in to our program this season and made an impact for us,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “He came with that veteran experience and was willing to do whatever he was asked to do for us.”
Being a 1999 birth year, Dawe was wanting to use this season to showcase his talents to college coaches, and he achieved this goal in February when he committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at SUNY-Fredonia. “Coach Flaugher helped to start the conversation between me and [Blue Devils head coach Jeff] Meredith, and after that the three of us kept in contact and really gained a good relationship. I was just really happy Coach Flaugher could get me to the next level,” said Dawe.
Next in our “Saluting Our ‘99s” series: Mark Capkovic