MUSKEGON, Mich. — Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Owen Mehlenbacher has been named to the USHL All-Academic Team for the 2021-22 season.
Mehlenbacher celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal
The Fort Erie, Ontario native posted a 3.7 GPA, putting him among the top student-athletes in the United States Hockey League (USHL) this season. Coupled with his outstanding off-ice work, Mehlenbacher scored 17 goals and 25 assists for 42 points in just his second year with the Lumberjacks.
“Owen’s commitment to academics duplicates his commitment to his on-ice efforts,” said Lumberjacks head coach Mike Hamilton. “As a staff, we want to congratulate Owen for his hard work. Having players of his commitment levels makes our jobs as a staff really easy.”
Despite growing up in Canada and knowing how important academics are, Mehlenbacher chose the American system of junior hockey over the Canadian Major Junior route so he could play NCAA collegiate hockey while simultaneously obtaining a college degree.
“That’s really the reason why I chose the USHL was to not only get a degree in school but to also play college hockey,” said Mehlenbacher, who plans on majoring in Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “I chose [Wisconsin] because they have a really good balance of excellent academics and a really good hockey program.”
Although he plans to pursue hockey as his number one career, Mehlenbacher is ready for a backup plan.
“After college, I want to go to school to become a chiropractor,” said Mehlenbacher. “Obviously I want to play professional hockey, but I have backup plans in place if it doesn’t work out.”
Mehlenbacher becomes the fifth Lumberjack to receive league academic honors. Previous Muskegon winners include Ben Strinden (2020-21), Hank Kempf (2019-20), Nic Belpedio (2018-19), and Travis Mitchell (2016-17).
Mehlenbacher (right) poses with Lumberjacks defenseman Noah Ellis (left) on Viva Las Vegas Night
Mehlenbacher joins forwards Keaton Peters (Lincoln Stars), Maddox Fleming (Sioux Falls Stampede), defensemen Austin Oravetz (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Max Burkholder (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and goaltender Paxton Geisel (Dubuque Fighting Saints) on the USHL All-Academic Team.
2022 Camp Dates
The Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced their 2022 Camp Dates for the upcoming season. Main Camp, which includes free agents and prospects, will run June 9-11, with Final Main Camp on June 12-15, both at Mercy Health Arena. For more information, visit muskegonlumberjacks.com/camps2022.
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About the Muskegon Lumberjacks
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud and dedicated members of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The club’s goal is to create an environment where student-athletes develop into successful young men both on and off the ice, which includes playing the game the right way while keeping up with their studies in the classroom and staying actively involved in the West Michigan community. The organization is committed to providing quality, affordable, and top-notch family entertainment while providing positive role models for the youth and the local community.