USPHL’s Mullets embracing California talent with ’20-21 signings
Not only do the Minnesota Mullets have perhaps the best team name in the USPHL, but the club has also taken note of the talent coming out of California, signing a pair of players with Golden State ties for the 2020-21 season.
Forward Scott Manhart (pictured right) and defenseman Ethan Saldanha (pictured top) will play in Minnesota this fall with their eyes on developing their games to further advance up the hockey ladder.
“Our location has been a big part of our success moving guys on to the NCAA,” Mullets coach-GM Chris Walby said. “Logistically, Minneapolis is a prime location for Division I and Division III schools to scout and attend our games.”
Manhart is a 2003-born Corona native who has played with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks, Orange County Hockey Club and Empire Hockey Club, as well as high school hockey with the Corona Norco Stingrays.
“The biggest factor in signing with the Mullets was the competition of the USPHL,” Manhart said. “I know I will have to work extra hard, but I look forward to the challenge and the opportunity to further develop and take my game to the next level.
“Playing in the ‘state of hockey’ is an absolute dream come true. I am also happy that I have family in Minnesota and look forward to spending time with them.”
Manhart said playing for the Jr. Ducks and coach Alex Vasilevski last season helped him earn the shot with the Mullets.
Saldanha, a Tualatin, Ore., native, played two years for St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, graduating this year.
“The Mullets showed immediate interest,” the 2002-born Saldanha said. “They were the ones who reached out to me instead of me advertising myself to them. After a phone call with Coach Walby, we really felt confident in the Mullets program and that this would be a good place for me to develop as a junior player.
“I am really excited for this year and what is to come.”
Saldanha wanted to recognize St. Mary’s coaches Derek Eisler and Zac Lytle for his development.
— Matt Mackinder
(Oct. 7, 2020)