Arizona Rubber

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Phoenix native, Bobcats national champ Willcoxson to continue career with USPHL’s Mullets


Ben Willcoxson had the experience of a lifetime in 2021-22, winning state and national championships at the 18U level with the Arizona Bobcats.

Now, the Phoenix native will get to bring that winning mentality to the USPHL after recently signing with the Minnesota Mullets.

“Coach (Chris) Walby reached out to me after nationals and I loved what he had to offer and what he could do for my hockey career,” said Willcoxson. “I love Minneapolis and the housing situation there. They are a winning organization and send many kids every year to play NCAA hockey. I am excited to live in a new city and meet a new group of guys.

“I feel like a bring a winning mentality and hard work ethic to the team and am willing to do whatever it takes to win. The Bobcats have done a great job developing me to make a smooth jump to the next level.”

ben_willcoxson2Walby is thrilled to see what Willcoxson can do next season for the Mullets.

“Ben comes to us from a great program in the Bobcats,” Walby said. “He played a pivotal role in their national championship run last season. His talent and experience in big games will help him have success at this level, and I’m confident he’ll contribute here immediately.”

Growing up, Willcoxson played for the Bobcats, Jr. Coyotes and Chapparal High School, taking his game to a new level each season.

“Our team winning a national championship still seems surreal,” Willcoxson said. “I’m so proud of our team last year and what we accomplished. I will have a lifetime of memories from that season.

“With the Bobcats and Jr. Coyotes, a few coaches who really developed me into the player I am today would be my dad (Dave) in the early parts of my career and Brent Gough, Brandon West, Ron Kerns, and Pat Conacher. They really developed me as a player, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Looking ahead, Willcoxson has goals in mind that he feels will challenge him moving forward.

“My short-term goals for hockey are to prepare for the jump next season and go into Minnesota and make an immediate impact,” Willcoxson said. “Long term, I want to play NCAA hockey.”

Photos provided by Ben Willcoxson

— Matt Mackinder

(June 16, 2022)

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