Jr. Kings grad Rivera commits to Mankato

Former Los Angeles King Nick Rivera has committed to attend and play his NCAA Division I hockey at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Rivera, a forward from Pacific Palisades, skated last season with the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League where he struck for 14 goals for 28 points in 58 regular-season games. He’ll play in Omaha again this season.

“I’m honored for the privilege to play at Minnesota State-Mankato,” said Rivera. “The Mavericks have an amazing reputation, on the ice and behind the bench, and I can’t thank the coaching staff in Omaha enough for all they’ve done and I can’t wait to get this season going.”

In his final season with the Jr. Kings in 2012-13, Rivera played for the program’s 16U AAA team, tallying 26 goals for 42 points in 40 games. He played one season with the North American Hockey League’s Wenatchee Wild before joining the Lancers.

“Nick is well-deserving of this opportunity and we're all extremely happy for him," said Lancers head coach and general manager Brian Kaufman. “He’s one of the hardest workers, both on and off the ice, and his leadership abilities and dedication to the game will make him the perfect fit at Minnesota State-Mankato.”

Mankato competes in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Last season, the Mavericks, led by head coach Mike Hastings, finished with a 29-8-3 overall record (21-4-3 in WCHA play), earning a berth to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed.