FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2021
K-WINGS SIGN FORMER BRAMPTON, JACKSONVILLE TEAMMATES
Kalamazoo inks Erik Bradford and Brenden Miller, teammates the past two seasons, to 2021-22 contracts.
KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, and Head Coach Nick Bootland announced the signings of forward Erik Bradford and defenseman Brenden Miller on Tuesday.
The two Orangeville, Ontario natives join forces in Kalamazoo where they will be teammates for a third straight season. Both Bradford and Miller skated for the Brampton Beast in 2019-20, before signing contracts with the Jacksonville Icemen in 2020-21. They also suited up as teammates in 2015-16 with the Orlando Solar Bears.
Bradford, 26, tallied 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) in 44 games for the Icemen last season after totaling 89 points (30 goals, 59 assists) in 94 games over the two previous seasons with the Beast. The veteran center has also suited up in parts of two seasons with the Toledo Walleye, and registered over a point per game during a 57-game stint with the Utah Grizzlies in 2016-17. He also briefly played for the Norfolk Admirals and has appeared in four career American Hockey League games for the Toronto Marlies.
“I’m looking forward to getting down to the city and play in front of what I imagine is a pretty eager fan base, with the team being unable to play last year,” said Bradford. “Management is really excited about the team they’ve put together and with that comes expectations. I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping my new teammates not only meet those expectations, but exceed them.”
“Erik is a high-end center who plays in all situations and will be used to win key face-offs,” said Bootland. “His veteran presence will make him a great leader for our team.”
Miller, 27, had ten points (two goals, eight assists) and 55 penalty minutes in 41 games for Jacksonville in 2020-21 after tying a career-high 31 points (five goals, 26 assists) in 59 games the previous year in Brampton. He extended his stay in Orlando a second season in 2016-17, getting a two-game AHL opportunity with Toronto that season. The following year, Miller spent the entire campaign in Kazakhstan, where he teamed up with K-Wings forward Tanner Sorenson for Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk. He then split the 2018-19 season between teams in Slovakia, Sweden and the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and Manchester Monarchs.
“I’m looking forward to playing in front of a great fan base and hockey town,” said Miller. “I can’t wait to get down there and win some games.”
“Brenden is as team-first as they come,” said Bootland. “His willingness to block shots and pay a price to win games will be contagious.”
Kalamazoo will continue filling out the roster in September leading up to training camp, which is scheduled to begin October 7. The team will release a full promotional schedule next week.
The K-Wings open the 2021-22 season at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 against the Toledo Walleye at Wings Event Center. Single game tickets go on sale in September, but fans can guarantee seats to the Home Opener by purchasing a Home Opener Ticket Package or securing a Season Ticket Plan.
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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 Columbus Blue Jackets and American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters. Kalamazoo plays their 36 regular season home games at Wings Event Center from October through April.