Mavericks set to join USPHL Premier for 2019-20 Season
Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com
The United States Premier Hockey League is proud to welcome the Columbus Mavericks to the USPHL Premier Division. They will skate in the Great Lakes Conference in the 2019-20 season and will operate primarily out of the Ohio Health Chiller North facility in Lewis Center, immediately north of the City of Columbus.
“The hockey market is really growing here in Columbus, Ohio, and that started in 2000 with the NHL’s Blue Jackets. The kids who started to play when they saw the game as young children are now in their teens,” said Mavericks Co-Owner Joey Recktenwald. “We are also looking to bridge a gap in Columbus. We have a successful Tier 1 AAA program in the city, and we of course have NCAA Division 1 Ohio State University and the NHL’s Blue Jackets. There was nothing really set up for anyone who is between 18 and 20 years old who is looking to develop themselves into a college hockey player.”
Recktenwald, a native of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, played for the former Columbus Jr. Blue Jackets in the Central States Hockey League against other current USPHL franchises such as the Metro Jets and Toledo Cherokee.
“Although we are an expansion franchise, we are looking to pick up where we left off when junior hockey left Columbus in 2007. I was a member of the last regime of that team as a player, and we had great, competitive games against the Metro Jets and Toledo Cherokee even back then,” said Recktenwald. “We know the Jets are the high water mark in our conference, and we want to make the Great Lakes the No. 1 conference, top to bottom, in the USPHL Premier.” Recktenwald said that he and his fellow Co-Owner Joe Gillespie knew right away that the United States Premier Hockey League would be the right fit for their new franchise.
“We looked at the NCAA Division 1 and NHL guys who have played in this league, and we knew we wanted to be in a league that is committed to moving players to higher levels. That meant we needed to be in the USPHL,” Recktenwald added.
Since first beginning to construct the foundations of the Mavericks franchise in late winter, it has been a non-stop building process for Recktenwald and Gillespie, who continue to work towards finding the best and right candidates for the positions of General Manager and Head Coach. They continue to interview and evaluate several strong candidates for both positions, and expect to announce those hired for these key positions this spring.
That, however, has not stopped the Mavericks from recruiting players both through their websites and around Columbus itself.
“We launched our website, www.columbusmavericks.com, about 10 days ago and we already have more than 60 players interested in our program,” said Recktenwald. “Now that we are officially USPHL members, we can start offering contracts and signing those players who will work well with our GM and Head Coach no matter who we hire.”
The USPHL congratulates the Columbus Mavericks on their entry into the USPHL Premier and wishes the the best of luck in 2019-20 and beyond.