Escondido native Ortega heads home, signs AHL contract with San Diego
University of Nebraska-Omaha senior forward Austin Ortega has signed an amateur tryout contract with the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League.
Ortega recently completed his eligibility for the Mavericks.
He was one of four finalists for the NCHC Forward of the Year and was a member of the NCHC All-Conference First Team, finishing his senior season at the top of the NCHC scoring chart with 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points in 38 games – his assist and point totals are career bests.
Ortega was named the NCHC’s Offensive Player of the Week three times this season and was the conference’s Player of the Month in December. Earlier this season, he tied the NCAA record by scoring his 23rd career game-winning goal.
An Escondido native, Ortega concluded his career ranked fourth in career scoring at UNO with 139 points. He ranks second with 70 career goals, fifth with 21 career power-play goals and tenth with 69 career assists. He put up 532 shots in his career which ranks third all-time, and is in a five-way tie for 18th with 147 career games played at UNO. He is the first Maverick to register three 20-goal seasons in his career.
Ortega will be playing hockey a little more than 30 miles from his hometown.
He played part of his youth career for the San Diego Jr. Gulls and the LA Hockey Club.