FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2020
HILDEBRAND SIGNS ON FOR THIRD YEAR IN KALAMAZOO
Goaltender won 37 games in first two K-Wings seasons and has appeared in the most ECHL games of any goalie over the past five.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks, announced Thursday the team has re-signed goaltender Jake Hildebrand for the 2020-21 season.
Hildebrand, 27, returns for a third season in Kalamazoo after appearing in 46 games in 2018-19 and 39 games in 2019-20. The Butler, Pennsylvania native is 37-36-6 with two shutouts in 85 appearances over the last two seasons. The workhorse logged 4,743 minutes in net during that time and recorded 2,252 saves. His 182 appearances over the past five seasons is tied for first in the entire ECHL.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be back in Kalamazoo for a third year,” said Hildebrand. “Between the city, the fans and the organization, there isn’t another place I’d rather be.”
Following a four-year college career at Michigan State University, Hildebrand signed with the ECHL’s Allen Americans, appearing in six regular season and eight playoff games in helping the Americans to the Kelly Cup championship in 2016. The 6-foot, 182-pound goaltender also played one season with the Indy Fuel and one with the Tulsa Oilers. He also appeared in three AHL games in 2016-17 with the Rockford IceHogs.
“Jake has developed so well under Joel Martin,” said K-Wings Head Coach Nick Bootland. “We have challenged him to work on his condition level and when presented with a challenge, he exceeds our expectations. He has become very consistent for us.”
Hildebrand played in 133 games as the Spartans’ four-year starter from 2012-16. His best college season came in 2014-15 as a junior, where he went 17-16-2 with a 2.18 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.
The ECHL announced a return-to-play plan last week. The 2020-21 hockey season will feature a split schedule, as 13 teams will start Dec. 11, 2020 and play 72 games. 12 teams, including Kalamazoo will open the season Jan. 15 and play 62 games. The league will determine playoff qualifiers based on winning percentage. More information regarding an official schedule will be announced at a later date.
Stay tuned for more news and player signings as the 2020-21 Kalamazoo Wings roster takes shape, by heading to kwings.com.
The Kalamazoo Wings are a professional hockey team located in southwest Michigan that has been a staple in the Kalamazoo, MI professional sports landscape since 1974. The K-Wings compete in the ECHL and are the AA affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks. Kalamazoo plays their regular season home games at Wings Event Center.