On Thursday September 17th, the Kalamazoo Wings announced the signing of American winger Matheson Iacopelli. Thew two sides agreed to terms on a standard player contract for the upcoming season. The contract signing marks his second year with the K-Wings hockey club.
The Michigan born Iacopelli played junior hockey in the USHL. He did so with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, scoring 64 goals along with 36 assists. That made for 100 points which the forward amassed in 114 games.
Following his tenure in junior, Matheson played two seasons of collegiate hockey at Western Michigan University. There, he tallied 21 goals along with 22 assists for 43 points. He did so in 67 games.
Drafted in the third round by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014, he spent time playing in their system with the Rockford IceHogs and the Indy Fuel. Last year in Kalamazoo, Iacopelli made a rather big splash. In 41 games played, he recorded 16 goals along with 15 assists. That made for 31 points in his first year with the franchise.
When I think of Iacopelli, I recall a game on December 19th, 2019 at Wings Event Center. The K-Wings were hosting the Cyclones and trailing 5-3 with less than five minutes left. They scored at 16:09 and at 19:11 to tie the score with Cincinnati. This was against a hockey club that was truly viewed as class of the division.
That set it up for overtime, and during the extra frame, Zach Diamantoni made a beautiful pass to Iacopelli. That set him up to use his blazing speed on a breakaway where he beat Michael Houser for the winner. He did so with a perfectly placed shot, sending K-Wings fans home with an electrifying victory. It was one of the most exciting that season.
In a statement on Thursday from Nick Bootland, head coach of the Kalamazoo Wings, he said of the team’s latest signing, “He is an explosive player with a lethal shot. He became a consistent contributor for us during the second half of last season. We’re hoping he can pick up where he left off before his injury.” I’m certain K-Wings fans are anticipating more memorable moments created by the forward this season.