Former NMU Hockey Wildcat heads to ECHL

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MARQUETTE, Mi. Former Northern Michigan University hockey blueliner, James Vermeulen (Stoney Plain, Alberta) has signed his first professional contract with the Kalamazoo Wings of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) as announced by the club Wednesday, September 4.

"James is such a valuable player to any coaching staff because he does all the little things that help you win," head coach Grant Potulny said. "He can play against other teams' best players and his ability to close defensively off the rush eliminates skilled players from entering the zone with possession."

Vermeulen, who graduated last May, spent four years contributing to a strong defensive front. Registering 19 points in his career (3-16-19), he finished his senior season with six assists, leading his team to an undefeated record when his name appeared on the box score (4-0-1).

A two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete and three time WCHA All-Academic Team honoree, Vermeulen studied Management during his time at Northern Michigan.

The ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, the Wings went 36-31-5 in the regular season before falling in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs to the Cincinnati Cyclones.

The Wildcats return to the ice October 11 at home as they host Michigan State at 7 p.m.