FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2019
K-WINGS SIGN TWO ROOKIE DEFENSEMEN
Kalamazoo adds rookies Matt VanVoorhis and James Vermeulen to the 2019-20 roster.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks, announced Wednesday the addition of defensemen Matt VanVoorhis and James Vermeulen to the 2019-20 roster.
VanVoorhis, 26, comes to Kalamazoo from Norway, where he spent his first two pro seasons with the Manglerud Star. The Edina, Minn. native posted 45 points (11g, 34a) in 72 games from 2017-19 and added six assists in 11 playoff games.
“I’m excited to get out to Kalamazoo and get the season started,” said VanVoorhis. “It’s been a long off-season and I look forward to puck drop on opening night in front of all the fans.”
The 5-foot-7, 170-pound defenseman previously played four seasons at the University of Denver, winning a National Championship with the Pioneers as a senior in 2016-17.
“Matt won a National Championship in college and knows what it takes to win,” said K-Wings Head Coach Nick Bootland. “His mobility and hockey sense are his best assets. He comes in as a rookie, but has two full seasons of experience playing in Norway.”
Vermeulen, 23, begins his pro career after finishing at Northern Michigan University last March. The Spruce Grove, Alberta native had 19 points (3g, 16a) in 124 college games for the Wildcats.
“After talking with the coaching staff and checking out the arena, the city and looking at the programs past, it seemed like a no-brainer to sign with Kalamazoo,” said Vermeulen. “I thought it would be a good fit for myself and I couldn’t think of a better place to continue my hockey career.”
Prior to his time at NMU, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenseman skated for the Whitecourt Wolverines in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where he was an All-Star in 2014-15.
“James is a big shutdown defenseman,” said Bootland. “He was relied on to play against the opposition’s top line every night, and has a very high compete level.”
The K-Wings’ 46th Home Opener is Saturday, Oct. 19 against the Cincinnati Cyclones at 7:00 p.m. at the Wings Event Center, following Fan Fest leading up to the game.
2019-20 K-Wings season tickets, partial plans and 5-packs are on sale now! Visit KWings.com for details.
Book your group before Sept. 1, 2019 for any K-Wings game this season and every member of the group will receive a K-Wings winter hat.