JACKSONVILLE (Florida Sports Wire) – The Jacksonville Icemen, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Jacob Friend for the 2022-23 season.
Friend, 25, returns to the Icemen for a third season. Last season, Friend recorded 13 points (5g, 8a) with 79 penalty minutes in 43 games played with Jacksonville. In addition, he also appeared in 17 games with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, registering two points (1g, 1a) with 33 penalty minutes.
“We’re excited to add another member of our core group from last season,” said Icemen Head Coach Nick Luukko. “Jacob played a major role in setting the standard and culture for our team. He brings an element of physicality and toughness that is hard to find these days.”
During his rookie campaign with the Icemen in 2020-21, Friend collected eight points (1g, 7a) with 101 penalty minutes in 44 games and quickly established himself as one the most physical defenders in the league.
“I am excited to come back to Jacksonville and can’t wait to see all of the fans at Vystar Arena this year,” said Friend. “As a team and organization, we took big steps last year and being a retuning player, I am ready to build off that and continue in the right direction this year. I know in talking to the other returning players and staff, we weren’t happy with how we went out last year, and we feel there is some unfinished business for this season. ”
Prior to joining the Icemen, Friend logged 14 points (3g, 11a) with 136 penalty minutes in 53 games played at St. Mary’s University (USports) from 2018-2020. The 6-2, 205-pound blueliner totaled 63 points (9g, 54a) along with 266 penalty minutes in 166 appearances with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 2015-2018. The Bowmanville, Ontario resident captained Owen Sound during the 2017-18 season.
The Icemen open the 2022-2023 season at home on October 22 against the Orlando Solar Bears. Full and partial season ticket packages are currently available! Contact the Icemen office at 904-602-7825, or visit www.jacksonvilleicemen.com