Defenseman Connor Russell Back in the Fold in Iowa

July 28, 2022 - ECHL (ECHL) - Iowa Heartlanders News Release

Coralville, Iowa - Head Coach and General Manager Derek Damon announced Thursday defenseman Connor Russell has agreed to an ECHL contract with the Iowa Heartlanders for the 2022-23 season. Russell played in 28 games as a rookie with the Heartlanders last season, producing 54 penalty minutes and five assists. The 26-year-old, right-handed shot was a midseason pickup from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.

Iowa has come to terms on ECHL contracts with ten players for the 2022-23 season.

2022-23 Roster

Forwards (5): Zach White, Yuki Miura, Jake Smith, Cole Stallard, Josh Koepplinger

Defensemen (4): Riese Zmolek, Ryan Wheeler, Jake Stevens, Connor Russell

Goaltenders (1): Corbin Kaczperski

Connor Russell: "I loved living in Coralville and Iowa City last season. I'm more of a defensive defenseman and I try to make a good first pass, be physical and be passionate about improving and getting a good result on the ice. I felt like coming to Iowa was a very good learning experience and team-building that sets us up for this season."

Head Coach and General Manager Derek Damon: "When we acquired Connor up last season, we knew he'd be able to provide us some valuable shutdown traits, a physical edge and improve as his rookie season went along. We saw exactly that as he became more accustomed to the professional game. This offseason sets Connor up with a great opportunity to elevate his game to that next level. He's going to have an opportunity to demonstrate the strides he's taken and we expect he will meet that challenge and again be a strong member of our defensive corps."

Russell played at the Canadian university level (USports) for Brock University (2020-22) and the University of Ottawa (2017-19). Last season marked his first for a home team in the United States since he attended the Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY in 2013-14. Russell skated at the BCHL level for Cowichan Valley, Prince George and Penticton.

The Heartlanders 2022-23 schedule is now available at The team opens their second season in the ECHL on October 21 at 7:05 p.m. vs. Idaho. Rose Club season ticket memberships, partial plans and group ticket options are available for the upcoming season by calling 319-569-GOAL and visiting

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