Kovacs Re-Signs in Kalamazoo
KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks, announced Thursday the team has re-signed forward Justin Kovacs for the 2020-21 season.
Kovacs, 29, began his pro career in Kalamazoo in 2015 and returned to the K-Wings last season, scoring 11 goals and adding 21 assists in 52 games. The Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan native first appeared in eight games for the K-Wings at the end of his senior season at Western Michigan University. He then posted 29 points (6g, 23a) in 63 games during his first full pro season in Kalamazoo in 2015-16.
"Justin is a talented player who makes the five foot give-and-go plays that most players do not even see, and executes those plays with ease" said K-Wings Head Coach Nick Bootland. "He battled through injuries almost all season last year and I know we all appreciated that from him."
The 5-foot-11, 194-pound forward spent parts of two ECHL seasons with the Quad City Mallards, before heading overseas. Kovacs finished the 2017-18 campaign with HK Nitra in Slovakia, and spent the entire 2018-19 season with the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League, where he put up 43 points (13g, 30a) in 53 games.
Kovacs recorded 76 points (23g, 53a) in 129 games over four seasons at WMU from 2011-15, helping the Broncos to the CCHA Conference Championship in 2011-12 as a freshman.
The ECHL announced a return-to-play plan earlier this month. The 2020-21 hockey season will feature a split schedule, as 13 teams will start Dec. 11, 2020 and play 72 games. 11 teams, including Kalamazoo will open the season Jan. 15, 2021 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.
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