Cole Hults has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings. The left shot defenceman has opted to forego his senior year at Penn State and becomes the most recent prospect to be added to the plethora within L.A.’s handsome farm system.
Cole Hults Inks With the L.A. Kings
Cole Hults was selected 134th overall, in the fifth round of the 2017 NHL Draft. His signing comes in the wake of his most prolific season in the NCAA. In 34 games this year, he registered a career high in goals (8) and points (30). He tied his career best in assists (22). Hults was named a finalist for both The Big Ten Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year for the 2019-20 season.
During his NCAA career, the 6’-2”, 195-pound Stoughton, Wisconsin native, played 111 games for the Penn State Nittany Lions. He potted 78 points in total with 17 goals and 61 assists. He finished his college career as the all-time leader in goals, assists and points among Penn State defencemen. Hults also became the first defenceman in Penn State’s history to score a hat-trick.
Guy Gadowsky, head coach at Penn State, described Hults as “the highest performing low risk, low maintenance player,” he had ever coached, and made comparisons between him and Alec Martinez. Meanwhile, L.A.’s Senior Advisor to the General Manager/Development, Mike O’Connell, commented on Hults’ “excellent positioning”; “His defensive game was great – he’s very strong on his feet.”
Kings Continue to Accrue
L.A. has now signed all seven of their prospects from their 2017 draft class but have reportedly not finished there. It is believed that they want to add more defensive grit on the backend. Los Angeles lost out in the hunt for NCAA free agents Jack Ahcan (Boston Bruins) and Jerad Rosburg (Dallas Stars), both muscular, powerful defencemen. The thought amongst insiders is the team still wants to pursue another competitive and bruising blueliner.