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Defenseman Kuzmeski stays close to home, signs with Iowa

Shane Kuzmeski sees the Heartlanders as an opportunity for his career to blossom.

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders announced Monday the team has signed defenseman Shane Kuzmeski to an ECHL contract for the 2021-22 season.

He skated in 31 games last season for the Wheeling Nailers, tallying two goals and seven points. Prior to Wheeling, Kuzmeski played four seasons at Clarkson University. Kuzmeski saw consistent playing time for the Golden Knights each season.

Before college, Kuzmeski played two seasons in the NAHL with Wichita Falls and Coulee Region.

Heartlanders Roster Update 
Forwards (2): 
Jack Billings, Ben Sokay
Defensemen (2): Jake Linhart, Shane Kuzmeski

Kuzmeski: “The coaches and staff I’ve worked with so far are first class and I was really drawn to that. Coming to a new team there’s a great buzz and the team is in a great area. I’m excited to try to put my mark on the team in my second pro season. ”

Head Coach Gerry Fleming: “We were impressed watching Shane’s tape and know he’s going to contribute on both sides of the puck. He comes from a good college program in Clarkson that has produced high-end prospects. For him to jump right in last year and get a good start to his professional career in Wheeling will make him a valuable asset for us in our inaugural season.”

Kuzmeski highlights 

  • Won the ECAC championship with Clarkson in 2018-2019.
  • Named to ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team his senior year. 
  • Clarkson ranked top 5 in the NCAA in fewest goals allowed three times in his tenure.


The Heartlanders officially open the 2021-22 ECHL season on Oct. 22 against Kansas City at Xtream Arena. Tickets are available at ShopHeartlanders.com/collections/tickets.  The Heartlanders’ AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild, will host the Rockford IceHogs for an AHL preseason game Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Xtream Arena in the first professional hockey game in the new building, presented by the Iowa City Area Sports Commission. Tickets are available for the Fri., Oct. 8 game by calling the Heartlanders box office at 319-569-4625 or by visiting https://bit.ly/XtreamArenaPreseason.