Los Angeles Kings’ Cole Hults Reflects On Time With Penn State Hockey, Eager To Get Pro Career Started

As the most recent member of the Los Angeles Kings, Penn State hockey’s Cole Hults acquired a few of his first probabilities to introduce himself to his new group on Thursday.

Hults and a handful of different prospects inside the group met with normal supervisor Rob Blake by way of FaceTime within the morning. Later within the day, the defenseman from Madison, Wisconsin was one among three Kings to satisfy with the media by way of Zoom.

In Hults’ phrases, it was “the appropriate time” to make the transfer from Hockey Valley to the west coast. Nevertheless, that doesn’t change the bittersweet feeling of how his remaining season of faculty hockey got here to an in depth.

“I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the LA Kings now,” he mentioned. “[How the 2019-20 season ended] undoubtedly stings. It was good to get the common season win, however in the end, you need to win these event championships. We weren’t the one ones who had been let down, in order that sort of helps a bit bit — and we acquired to finish as common season champions.”

As he talked about, Hults will depart the school sport as a champion after the Nittany Lions captured their first-ever regular season conference title. The street to the Large Ten event championship was set to run via Pegula Ice Area since Penn State ended the yr because the convention’s No. 1 seed. The crew was all however assured of a return to the NCAA event as properly, however each postseason competitions had been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Los Angeles’ media availability that includes Hults is a telling signal of how the group views its latest defenseman. School-level standouts Alex Turcotte and Tyler Madden — maybe the 2 finest ahead prospects within the group — accompanied Hults on the decision. Each gamers are anticipated to, on the very least, push for an NHL roster spot as soon as the league’s 2020-21 season will get underway.

Hults will not be too accustomed to Madden, who spent his school profession at Northeastern and was traded to the Kings on February 17. He’ll have a lot extra familiarity with Turcotte, who spent his solely collegiate season with Wisconsin.

“Clearly, we performed one another loads — and so they whooped us extra instances than we did. These had been robust video games,” Turcotte, the No. 5 total choose in final summer season’s NHL Draft, mentioned of Penn State. “They’re one of the best crew within the Large Ten. They had been an offensive crew, operating and gunning, and we had been sort of the identical means. I wouldn’t say there was a lot protection being performed.”

“It was nice. Wisconsin and Penn State have all the time sort of had that rivalry,” Hults added. “I’m from Madison, too, so it’s all the time cool coming again and enjoying these guys — and getting one of the best of them. [Chirping] is certainly going to occur.”

Madden and Turcotte could have a bit extra of a fame as high NHL prospects, however it’s exhausting to argue towards Hults’ credentials. He by no means missed a sport over three seasons with Penn State, and he departs because the Nittany Lions’ all-time scoring chief amongst defensemen with 78 factors (17 targets, 61 assists) in 111 appearances.

Hults grew to become infamous for producing and persistently enjoying properly regardless of the shortage of flash in his type of play. Penn State head coach Man Gadowsky referred to Hults as one of the lowest-maintenance, lowest-risk blueliners he’s ever coached quite a few instances. That type of play is why Hults grew to become the first All-American defenseman in program history this offseason.

It’s solely becoming that Hults seems to be as much as Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter as a mentor. The All-American has really had entry to the Suter household’s exercise amenities whereas the world has seemingly been paused all through this pandemic, so he’s been capable of keep in form considerably.

Suter has cast a 15-season NHL profession with the identical type of play that’s helped Hults turn out to be one of many high prospects in Los Angeles’ system.

“I like to check my sport to Ryan Suter — a low-maintenance man. Clearly tremendous efficient at what he does, however he’s not tremendous flashy,” he mentioned. “Being from Madison, I grew up across the Suters, so I watched plenty of his sport. I take a look at him as a mentor to me, so I watch and be taught from him greater than anyone else.”


When the NHL’s 2020-21 season will get going, Hults is about to enter a locker room with true championship pedigree. A lot of the Kings’ core from their Stanley Cup title runs in 2012 and 2014 — together with Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, and Dustin Brown — are nonetheless round. Los Angeles beat the New Jersey Devils in six video games to seize its first-ever Stanley Cup in 2012 earlier than beating the Rangers in 5 video games two seasons later.

Though the Kings fell from grace and weren’t near the playoff equation in both of the final two NHL seasons, strolling right into a crew as skilled as Los Angeles is certain to be surreal for a younger defenseman like Hults.

“It’s undoubtedly cool. I keep in mind watching these cup video games means again when,” he mentioned. “It’s humbling. I didn’t assume I’d be right here a pair years again, so it’s sort of loopy trying again at how the whole lot labored out. It’s a surreal feeling.”

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Mikey is a senior majoring in journalism who’s a Senior Editor for Onward State. He is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, Mikey is means too obnoxious about all one of the best issues his residence state has to supply. Mikey additionally likes to play golf, however he sucks at it as a result of golf is basically exhausting. You possibly can observe Mikey on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino to be able to fill your timeline with all of the hockey/golf content material you will ever want. You may also ship all hate mail, dying threats, and your vote for one of the best hen parm in State School to [email protected]

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