The '99 native of Williamsville, NY came to the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) for his final season of junior hockey, and in 34 games played to date, Hildreth has scored 19 goals and dished out 17 assists.
"Jona has been one of our key offensive producers all season long,” said Express head coach and general manager Cody Campbell. “He has a desire to succeed that is very visible and I have no doubt that he will make an impact on Cortland’s line up immediately. Jona has been very focused on achieving his goal of playing college hockey from the day he arrived in Walpole, and I am glad the Express organization could play a part in helping him reach that goal."
As Campbell mentioned, Hildreth has been motivated since arriving in Walpole this past fall, which was a big reason why the forward was selected to the 2019 EHL All-Star Team. When you combine that experience with everything else that Hildreth has gained this season, the skilled forward is very grateful for what this season given him.
"When I went on my visit to Cortland, I fell in love with the campus and athletic facilities right away," said Hildreth. "Speaking with the coaching staff, I got a feeling about how they want to play and felt it was a great fit with my game. Mixed with the Business economics program that I plan to study, everything lined up perfectly."
Hildreth went on to talk about his junior hockey experience, and how it was the Express who ultimately helped him achieve his main goal.
"Playing for the Express has helped me so much this season," added Hildreth. "I have been put in great positions to succeed by Coach Campbell, and have great teammates who have helped and supported me tremendously during this year. I have really enjoyed my experience playing hockey in Walpole this season. Lastly, I want to make sure I thank my family and friends who have supported me and helped me throughout my whole life, but especially through my two years of junior hockey.”
Hildreth and the Express are in a tight battle in the New England Conference, with just 10 games remaining in the regular season. Next up for Walpole, is a matchup at home against the East Coast Wizards on Wednesday.
Learn more about the Express on the team's official website, and check out the full 2019-20 NCAA commitment list.