14U Head Coach
As travel tryouts approach and we’re all spending a lot more time in front of screens lately, the IYHA Jr Fuel would like to take this opportunity to provide some in-depth insight into the backgrounds and philosophies of our coaching staff.
We strive for world class player development and promotion of Indiana players to the game's highest levels. The ice time, off ice training, competition and exposure are the easy part. What sets us apart is our lineup of coaches and their commitment to our players. Our staff has unmatched playing and coaching experience along with a “player first” mentality. Every one of our coaches was fortunate to grow up with impactful mentors throughout their youth careers. They are committed to giving back and providing the Indy area youth hockey players a better opportunity than they had.
Our first installment will feature 18U AAA Head Coach and Director of Player Advancement Jimmy Mullin.
In 2019-2020, his first year at the helm of 18U AAA, Coach Mullin excelled in his role of Director of Player Advancement. He was instrumental in facilitating twelve different call up opportunities in the USHL, NAHL and CCHL for his players. The team participated in a Tier 1 Elite League showcase, Omaha USHL showcase and an NAPHL showcase. His squad competed against many of the top prep teams in the country including Shattuck St Mary's, Culver, Lake Forest Academy, Gilmour Academy and battled with top AAA teams including the Chicago Mission, Team Illinois, St Louis AAA Blues and Dallas Stars Elite.
Coach Mullin was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. He moved to Florence, Kentucky at the age of 3 and started playing ice hockey for the Northern Kentucky Norseman. At the age of 11, he and his family moved back to Pennsylvania and he played for the Philadelphia Little Flyers. As an 8th grader, Jimmy was recruited by prep powerhouse Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota.
After two seasons on the prestigious SSM prep team and 178 points scored, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected him in the 4th round of the 2010 NHL entry draft.
Jimmy went on to play one year in the USHL for the Fargo Force where he made the USHL All Star game, 1st team USHL all star, and led the league in plus minus as a rookie. He was also selected to represent Team USA for the World Junior A Challenge and led the tournament in goals with six in four games ahead of current NHL superstar Nikita Kucherov.
During his junior season at Shattuck, he committed to play NCAA college hockey at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Following a productive freshman season at Miami with 26 points, he was sidelined for a majority of the next three seasons with major knee reconstructions and a season ending shoulder injury. Following four years at Miami, Jimmy was eligible for a fifth year transfer and completed his college career under legendary junior and college coach Mike Hastings at Minnesota State in the WCHA.
Jimmy played three seasons with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. In his only year not plagued by injury, he posted a career high of 45 points.
In addition to his role as Jr Fuel 18U Head coach, Mullin is also a scout for the USHL's Fargo Force.
Jimmy met his fiancee Kenzie while they were students at Miami University. They plan to get married this summer.
We’ll wrap up with a short Q&A with Coach Mullin. Below are his responses. Enjoy!
What do you love most about coaching?
As a coach, it is an honor and a privilege to work with a team of hockey players on a day to day basis. It's amazing to watch them grow on and off the ice throughout the entire season. Personally, the reason I love coaching is being able to work with driven athletes who work their absolute hardest, and are willing to be pushed. It brings me joy to watch kids succeed, but it gives me even more joy when they earn their success.
What values/lessons do you hope to teach your players?
Accountability, honesty, work ethic, humility, trustworthiness
What was your best youth hockey memory?
When I was 12, I had the opportunity to play in the Pee Wee Quebec hockey tournament. It was the first time I was able to compete on an international stage. I played in front of thousands of fans in the playoff round, and I met kids from all over the world. My team and I were fortunate enough to win the championship and I took home the tournament MVP. After the game I signed autographs, and felt like an NHL hockey player. At that moment I knew I would do anything to play college and pro hockey!
Who was your most influential coach?
Ben Eaves. Ben has never coached a team of mine, but he has been a great mentor and motivator of mine since 2006. He cares about the players, and focuses on overall development. He pushes me to be a better person, coach and encourages me to ask questions and understand my worth as a human being.
What was the best advice that you received as a hockey player?
Singers sing, and dancers dance. Be the best version of you… not someone else.
What advice do you have for hockey parents?
Hockey is an expensive sport. Stop sending your kids to every futures camp, main camp or combine draft camp. If a junior team or another organization has genuine interest in your child, you will know. Spend your money on off-ice training and on-ice development. Then pick a camp or two that makes sense as a measuring stick. BE PATIENT!