Illinois State Hockey Welcome Declan McDermott!

Photo Credit: Hailey Dell

The Illinois State Redbirds welcome Declan McDermott to the family!

McDermott, a 5’11″ 174 lb. defensemen is a Chicago, IL native. He will join the Redbirds in the 2024-25 season after playing 3 seasons for the Peoria Mustangs in the NA3HL. During his time with the Mustangs, Declan accumulated 20 points (3 goals and 17 assists) in 110 games.

Declan explained that he chose ISU because, “The academic standards of ISU match my goals. Also, Coach Prewitt and the hockey team made me feel like family and I already know some good hard-working people who love the school.” He intends to major in computer science. When asked who his favorite coach was, McDermott said, “Steve Ortman. Ort never failed to share a profound quote or impart wisdom on our team. Just listening to his speeches and hearing stories on the bus I learned and matured a lot over the past three years. He also hammered how important details are into our brains and that is something that has helped me in all areas of life. This past season I had the honor of playing for his son Blake and it was more of the same. Blake also trusted me with more ice time than I’ve ever had and knew how to make the boys laugh when we needed it.” When asked who his biggest supporter McDermott stated it was his father.

Declan expressed his favorite hockey memory was “one Hockey Tournament in Philadelphia when I was a squirt. We saw the Liberty Bell, got Philly cheesesteaks as a family and I got my first ever hattrick.” McDermott’s biggest goal of his career was, “a bar down slapshot from the top of the circle to tie the game in the third period against the Vikings in the playoffs with my parents and all my friends from school in the crowd. We went on to win in OT.”

Declan expressed that he is looking forward to going back to school full time, making lifelong connections and helping the hockey team succeed on and off the ice. Declan’s favorite food is lobster. McDermott has 2 siblings: Megan and Shannon. When asked what animal Declan would want to be, he said he would be a falcon because he would be able to fly wherever he wants and could dive bomb at prey going 200 mph.

“Declan is bringing a ton of experience and leadership to our defensive group. His calmness when he is on the ice mixed with his desire to compete are going to set him up to make an instant impact at Illinois State.” – D1 Head Coach Chris Prewitt.

McDermott joins a large list of players from the Peoria Mustangs to become a member of the Redbird family including current players; Michael Natoli, Tony Campise, Brendan Donovan, Jackson Gram, Ethan Chesney, and Jaycob Bland as well as fellow commits/transfers Ryan Callahan and Cole Walter.

If you’re interested in playing for ISU Hockey, we encourage you to fill out our Recruit Form under the team tab on our website!