K-Wings sign longtime teammates Bradford and Miller

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KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings, a proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League Columbus Blue Jackets, and head coach Nick Bootland announced the signing of forward Erik Bradford and defenseman Brenden Miller on Tuesday. .

The two native of Orangeville, Ont., Join forces at Kalamazoo where they will be teammates for a third consecutive season. Bradford and Miller both skated for the Brampton Beast in 2019-2020, before signing contracts with the Jacksonville Icemen in 2020-21. They also adapted as teammates in 2015-16 with the Orlando Solar Bears.

Bradford, 26, had 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) in 44 games for the Icemen last season after totaling 89 points (30 goals, 59 assists) in 94 games in the previous two seasons with the Beast. The veteran center also played two seasons with the Toledo Doré and recorded more than a point per game during a 57-game stint with the Utah Grizzlies in 2016-17. He also played briefly for the Norfolk Admirals and appeared in four career American Hockey League games for the Toronto Marlies.

“I can’t wait to get to town and play in front of what I imagine to be a pretty enthusiastic fan base as the team couldn’t play last year,” Bradford said. “The management is really enthusiastic about the team they have put together and that raises expectations. I look forward to the challenge of helping my new teammates not only meet those expectations, but exceed them.

“Erik is a high end center who plays in all situations and will be used to win key faceoffs,” Bootland said. “His presence as a veteran will make him a great leader for our team. “

Miller, 27, had ten points (two goals, eight assists) and 55 penalty minutes in 41 games for Jacksonville in 2020-21 after tying a career-high 31 points (five goals, 26 assists) in 59 games the year before in Brampton. He extended his stay in Orlando for a second season in 2016-17, securing a two-game AHL opportunity with Toronto that season. The following year Miller spent the entire campaign in Kazakhstan, where he teamed up with K-Wings forward Tanner Sorenson for Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk. He then split the 2018-19 season between teams from Slovakia, Sweden and the Florida Everblades and the Manchester Monarchs from ECHL.

“I can’t wait to play in front of a great fan base and a great hockey town,” said Miller. “I can’t wait to go and win games. “

“Brenden is the first on the team,” Bootland said. “His willingness to block shots and pay a price to win games will be contagious.”

Kalamazoo will continue to fill out the roster in September ahead of training camp, which is scheduled to start on October 7. The team will release a full promotional calendar next week.

The K-Wings open the 2021-22 season at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 23 against the Toledo Walleye at the Wings Event Center.

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