Hackett brings NHL experience to Solar Bears

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears have announced that the club has agreed to terms with goaltender Matt Hackett for the 2017-18 season.

The Solar Bears are the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs and the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies.

Hackett spent the last two campaigns on an NHL contract with the Anaheim Ducks, and suited up for the AHL’s San Diego Gulls last season, where he went 2-3-0 in seven appearances with a 3.35 goals-against average, an .898 save percentage and one shutout before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in December.

During the 2015-16 campaign, Hackett went 10-7-2 for the Gulls with a 3.03 goals-against average, an .895 save percentage and one shutout in 22 appearances during the regular season. The goaltender starred for San Diego when he was pressed into duty during the opening round of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs and helped his club win its first-ever playoff series before ultimately bowing out in the division finals. Hackett also got into two games for the Utah Grizzlies in 2015-16, going 2-0-0 with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.

The 27-year-old has 26 games of NHL experience with the Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres, registering a .906 save percentage.

Hackett has appeared in 208 career AHL games with the Gulls, Rochester Americans and Houston Aeros, posting a record of 96-82-21 with a 2.63 goals-against average, a .909 save percentage and five shutouts. As a rookie with Houston in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs, Hackett went 14-10 with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage to lead the Aeros all the way to the Calder Cup Finals, where Houston eventually fell to the Binghamton Senators.

Prior to turning pro, the native of London, Ontario played four seasons of major junior hockey with the Windsor Spitfires and Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, where he appeared in 140 career games and compiled a record of 74-48-9 with a 3.06 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage and six shutouts. Hackett was a third-round selection (77th overall) of the Minnesota Wild in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.