1. Home
  2. News
  3. TWENTER: From the SPHL to Fan Favorite, Ulett Thankful to Be in KC

TWENTER: From the SPHL to Fan Favorite, Ulett Thankful to Be in KC

Wednesday, December 4th
TWENTER: From the SPHL to Fan Favorite, Ulett Thankful to Be in KC

It would seem crazy to most of us to pack up, move to another country, and leave behind everything you know to start over with no guarantee of employment. But, hockey players are the type of people to do crazy things sometimes. Sometimes crazy things work out, sometimes they don’t. When Loren Ulett was cut by coach John-Scott Dickson at the conclusion of training camp last season, he was met with a choice...feel sorry for himself or get to work. He chose the latter and a year later, has become a stalwart in the Kansas City Mavericks’ lineup. And for that opportunity, Ulett finds himself thankful.

 “I came here last year around Christmas and I’ve just tried to fill in where I can. Last year, I played 20 games at defense and 18 games at forward. Then this year, I worked over the summer to progress and I’m pretty happy with my play so far.”

Gifted the rare ability to play both forward or drop to the blue line, Ulett’s flexibility appealed himself to Coach John-Scott Dickson before the 2018-19 season.  However, 'Ullie' found himself caught up in a numbers game when roster cutdown day came and began the season in the SPHL with the Birmingham Bulls. It wasn’t long, however, before the Ontario-native found his way to the Mavericks roster and the rest, as they say, is history.

“That summer was kind of crazy. I decided to leave school and I didn’t know where I was going. Dicksy (coach John-Scott Dickson) gave me an invite to camp on the 20th of September. So, obviously, when you aren’t a part of the plans from the beginning you’ve got to claw tooth and nail to get there. I think I had a really good camp, but you look at some of the guys we had to let go this year and you see really great players that we just don’t have the numbers for or room for that role right now. So, I just stayed prepared and stayed ready. I was working hard in Birmingham. When I got the call to come up here, I was super excited and I wanted to be that player I was in camp. I didn’t really know what position I was going to play…and neither did they as they moved me around quite a bit.”

With a strong relationship with his family, Ulett credits them for pushing him to achieve at a high level.  “My mom and my grandpa are my two biggest supporters. My grandpa’s never missed a game, either digitally or physically there for the 20 years I’ve played. I can’t say enough about them.”

A multi-sport athlete as he grew up riding the trails of his native Ontario and hitting the golf links regularly, Ulett made the decision to pursue hockey and began his career in juniors with time in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) before a year with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). After one final year of preparation in the OJHL, Ulett transitioned to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology for three years before beginning his professional journey while continuing to take classes to finish his degree in finance.

Ulett entered his first full season with the Mavericks with some very distinct goals in mind on the offensive end while bringing the same physical play that has endeared himself to the Mavericks faithful.

“Last year, my goal was to play 36 games. When I got here at Christmas, I didn’t really think it was going to happen, but I ended up playing 38, so I was super happy to have John-Scott (Dickson) support me and believe in me. This summer, I set goals with my skills guy, Josh, and I know I can get 20 (goals) and 20 (assists); so that’s kind of my goal right now. I’m still going to be the player that I am. I’m going to be physical and defensively responsible. When I get chances in the offensive zone, I’m going to try and take as many good shots as I can and make good plays.”

Listed at 6’0” and a conservative 200 pounds, the second year forward brings a distinctive thump to the Mavericks’ forecheck and a wrister that is finding twine more and more often this season.

 “I think JSD really likes everyone to work hard and that’s how I try to play. Not everyone is always going to have their best night every night, but I’m always going to give my best effort whether I slept three hours the night before or my legs are burning. It’s a part of having such a long season, I’m just bringing the effort that I can every game and finding a way to play physical every game and finish checks.”

In speaking with Mavericks fans, the familiar name Colt King comes up regularly when discussing Ulett. But, Ullie is his own man and wants to continue to do the little things right to succeed at this level.

“You look at guys at the higher levels and it’s not that they do anything exceptional. They just don’t make the mistakes that guys at the lower levels make. That’s what I’m trying to build in my game; instead of getting pucks out 99% of the time, I want it to be 100%.”

That consistency and commitment to excellence forced Ulett into the lineup last year and gave Dickson no opportunity to remove him. This year, armed with the goals he has set and the passion and commitment to achieve them, it seems #14 will be hitting the ice regularly for this Mavericks squad for a long time and that’s something we can all be thankful for.

Get Ahead Of The Crowd

Sign up below to receive news, information, and offers from the Kansas City Mavericks.