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Defenseman Blake Hillman Returns To Toledo

December 14, 2020 - ECHL (ECHL) - Toledo Walleye News Release

Toledo, OH - Defenseman Blake Hillman has agreed to terms with the Toledo Walleye for the 2020-21 season.

Hillman returns to the pond after splitting 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 8 penalty minutes. The 24-year-old added 12 games at the AHL level- five with the Griffins and seven with the Heat.

Head Coach Dan Watson is excited to have Hillman return for his second season with the Walleye. "He has great patience with the puck, plays a smart and detailed game and has tremendous leadership skills. He will be counted on heavily to play against teams top lines and anchor our penalty kill unit again."

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 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 or the Pioneers. Hillman's best college year came in the 2017-18 season when in 41 games he posted 12 points (3G, 9A) with 52 penalty minutes 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.

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