(Toledo, OH) – Defenseman Blake Hillman has agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2021-2022 season.
Hillman returns to the Pond after playing for South Carolina this past season, posting three goals, eight assists and 12 penalty minutes in 43 contests. He split his time between Toledo, Grand Rapids, and Stockton during the 2019-20 season. He played 35 games for the Fish, where he racked up 13 points (1G, 12A) and eight penalty minutes. The 25-year-old added 12 games at the AHL level; five with the Griffins and seven with the Heat.
“Blake is a student of the game and quietly goes about his business on the ice. He will be counted on for his leadership, his intelligence, and his steady play. We can expect Blake to play against opponents' top lines and anchor our penalty kill. This is a big signing for the Walleye and we are really excited to have Blake back for a second season."
Head Coach Dan Watson
Hillman was drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 draft (#173 overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks out of the University of Denver. The Elk River, Minnesota native made his professional debut by skating in four games for the Blackhawks at the end of the 2017-18 season that saw him collect his first pro goal on April 4, 2018 at St. Louis. Hillman spent the 2018-19 season with Rockford in the AHL, appearing in 54 games with four points (1G, 3A) and 20 penalty minutes for the IceHogs.
In his three years at the University of Denver, he skated in 123 games with seven goals, 24 assists, and 84 penalty minutes. In total, he was a plus-24 for the Pioneers. Hillman’s best college year came in the 2017-18 season when he posted 12 points (3G, 9A) with 52 penalty minutes in 41 games while skating as a plus-six. He helped lead the Pioneers to the 2017 Frozen Four Championship as a sophomore when Denver defeated Minnesota-Duluth 3-2 in the championship contest. Hillman collected the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA West Regional in 2016 when he picked up four points (2G, 2A) in two games that included a game-winning goal over Ferris State.