The Jacksonville Icemen added one more player to their 2023-24 roster on Thursday. The team announced they have signed forward Garrett Van Wyhe to a one-year deal. Van Wyhe is a 6’2″, 201 pound centerman that joins the team after having split last season between the Adirondack Thunder and the Fort Wayne Komets. Before being acquired by the Komets in a midseason trade, Van Wyhe appeared in 22 games for Adirondack, registering four goals and two assists.
The 26-year-old’s game took a step in a positive direction with the move to Fort Wayne. Playing in 37 games for the Komets during the regular season, Van Wyhe posted 10 goals and six assists, bumping his first ECHL season scoring total to 22 points. Additionally, he contributed one goal and one assist in five postseason games with the Komets during their 2022-23 Kelly Cup Playoffs run.
The 2023-24 season will be Van Wyhe’s second season playing in the ECHL. Before joining the Thunder during the 2021-22 season, Van Wyhe was signed to a two-year contract with the Utica Comets of the AHL, where he played one game. He previously played for four years at the University of Michigan, appearing in 135 games from 2018-22. During his time with the Michigan Wolverines, the forward posted 37 points, including 16 goals and 21 assists. The Wolverines won the NCAA’s Big Ten conference championship in 2022, Van Wyhe’s last season with the team.
As with the other new faces joining the Icemen roster for the upcoming season, Van Wyhe’s signing is indicative of a team addressing the problem spots and finding more ways to be competitive. Van Wyhe is described as a fast, tenacious shutdown forward with excellent defensive capabilities. His special teams play, most notably his work on the penalty kill, comes highly touted. As the Icemen have been plagued with glaring inconsistencies when it comes to the penalty kill and powerplay units, adding a forward with the ability to contribute some more control in man advantage situations is a fantastic move.