Player Spotlight: Cole Hults
Joe Skinner discusses Cole Hults' impact on Penn State's hockey team in his freshman season:
After a rollercoaster regular season for Penn State, the Nittany Lions have qualified for their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Penn State has been fueled by several contributing freshman, but Cole Hults has been able to work his way to the top defensive pair along with senior Erik Autio.
The fifth-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings has appeared in the most games out of any Nittany Lion freshman and has become the backbone of the defense through the Big Ten tournament which resulted in a loss to the top seed Notre Dame.
Hults hails from a hockey family as the youngest of three siblings. Cole’s older brother Mitch played at Lake Superior State University and is a current member of the San Diego Gulls, the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. Cole chuckles at the fact that he will now be able to joke with his older brother that he will have played in more NCAA tournament games than Mitch did with the Lakers.
Hults has been a valuable member of the Nittany Lions this season, as he has 20 points on three goals and 17 assists. While the numbers may not pop off the screen, especially for a first-line player, his goals have come at important times. Hults found the back of the net for to secure a 5-3 win that eventually led to a sweep of the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.
The big stage is no stranger to Hults, as he played three seasons in the USHL with the Madison Capitols. There, Hults led the team with 32 points, scoring six goals and notching 26 assists in 59 games.
Even though it may be his first time in the NCAA tournament, when the pressure is on, freshman Cole Hults is ready to take the spotlight and lead the Nittany Lions not only in this tournament but for years to come.
Joe Skinner is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.