March 20, 2017
The Gulls announced today that the American Hockey League (AHL) club has signed center Mitch Hults and forward Austin Ortega to amateur tryout (ATO) agreements.
Hults, 22 (11/13/94), signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks today. Hults collected 20-34=54 points with 98 penalty minutes (PIM) in two seasons (76 games) with Lake Superior State of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Hults was named to the All-WCHA Second Team in 2016-17 after leading in conference in assists (23) and ranking third in points (34). The 6-2, 205-pound forward was also named WCHA Player of the Month for October after earning 4-7=11 points in six games.
A native of Stoughton, Wisc., Hults recorded 11-23=34 points with a +1 rating and 42 PIM in 36 games with the Lakers in 2016-17. As a sophomore, he led Lake Superior State in scoring, assists, points per game (0.94), assists per game (0.64), faceoff wins (366) and faceoff win percentage (54.5).
Ortega, 22 (4/12/94), scored 70-69=139 points with 66 penalty minutes (PIM) and a +4 rating, and tied the NCAA record with 23 career game-winning goals in 147 games during his four years at the University of Nebraska-Omaha (National Collegiate Hockey Conference). The Escondido, Calif. native appeared in 38 games with the Mavericks this season, earning 20-27=47 points with 26 PIM and a +1 rating, setting career highs in assists (27) and points, while he also led the NCHC in scoring and ranked tied for third in goals. The 5-8, 170-pound forward was named to the NCHC All-Conference First Team this season and was named to the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team each of his four seasons at Nebraska-Omaha.
Ortega also signed a one-year contract with San Diego for the 2017-18 season.