Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild and American Hockey League's Iowa Wild, announced the team has re-signed defenseman Justin Wells and forwards Austin Eastman and Justin Michaelian to contracts for the 2023-24 season.All three played for the Heartlanders last season. Wells spent the entire year on the Heartlanders roster, notching nine assists in 59 games, Michaelian (13 GP, 3a) signed in March after completing his NCAA career and posted three assists in 13 games while Eastman scored three goals in three games during the final week of the 2022-23 regular season.
Wells joined the Heartlanders after a five-year NCAA career split between Bowling Green (2017-21) and Boston College (2022-23). He skated in at least 27 games each season and generated 24 points (4g-20a) over his collegate career.Eastman has been in the ECHL since January 2021 and has compiled 19 points (7g-12a) in 44 professional games. Following four years at Ontario Tech University, he signed his first ECHL deal with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. He spent parts of three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Quebec, Gatineau and Victoriaville before his USports career at Ontario Tech.Michaelian played five NCAA seasons (2018-23) split between the University of Maine and Ferris State University. In his first four seasons at Ferris State, Michaelian scored 49 points (22g-27a) before adding four points (1g-3a) in 20 games with Maine.