Iowa Heartlanders sign rookie forward Alec Broetzman

The left-handed shooter grew up in Wisconsin and was a two-time captain at Michigan Tech.


Contributed photo of Alec Broetzman

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter

The Iowa Heartlanders have signed rookie forward Alec Broetzman, the franchise announced Tuesday.

Broetzman grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin, just 20 miles from where the Hearlanders’ NHL affiliate Minnesota Wild play.

After competing for four seasons at Michigan Tech, the self-described power forward will start his professional career in the Wild’s farm system.

“That’s cool,” Broetzman said of agreeing to terms with the Wild’s ECHL affiliate. “I didn’t really expect that to happen, but it’s awesome.”

The 6-foot, 200-pound skater said being a part of the franchise sounded exciting during his talks with head coach Derek Damon and Heartlanders players.

In college, Broetzman served as captain during his junior season and co-captain for his senior campaign. Like Heartlanders defenseman Riese Zmolek, a Minnesotan who was an alternate captain in 2021-22, Broetzman said he’s someone who leads by example and acknowledged he isn’t a talkative guy.

“There’s a lot on your shoulders,” Broetzman said of being a captain. “A lot of expectations, but you can rise up to that.”

He said he wants to move into a leadership role as a professional, so it’s possible Broetzman wears a letter in his rookie campaign, just like Zmolek last season.

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Broetzman and Zmolek were born five months apart and were in the United States Hockey League before beginning their collegiate careers. Broetzman was with the Madison Capitols from 2015-18 and wore a “C” during his final season there. Zmolek suited up for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders from 2015-17 and was named captain for the 2016-17 campaign.

Their college statistics were impressive. In 136 games as a Huskie, Broetzman totaled 43 goals and 33 assists. At Minnesota State-Mankato, Zmolek was a captain in his senior year. The defenseman tallied seven goals and 33 assists over 135 contests with a plus-53 rating.

The skaters even matched up against each other in college 10 times from 2018-21. Minnesota State-Mankato came out on top in eight of their meetings.

“They had some really good teams,” Broetzman said. “I wish they went the other way a lot of the time, but it was always cool to play them.”

The 25-year-old is the sixth forward the Heartlanders have announced they’ve added for the upcoming season, and it appears he’ll be expected to contribute right away.

“Alec has been on our radar over the last few months and his name consistently came up in identifying young talent because he’s a great player and also because of the intangibles he can help bring to our locker room,” Damon said in a release. “We are excited to get to work with him in training camp and help start his development.”

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