1. Home
  2. News
  3. Iowa signs 2 returners and 2 newcomers: Jacques, Lipe, Koch and Knaub

Iowa signs 2 returners and 2 newcomers: Jacques, Lipe, Koch and Knaub

Wednesday, June 28th
Iowa signs 2 returners and 2 newcomers: Jacques, Lipe, Koch and Knaub

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders, proud ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild, added four more players to their 2023-24 roster Thursday with the signings of defenseman Chris Lipe and forwards Jesse Jacques, Mike Knaub and Davis Koch. Iowa has signed eight players to 2023-24 ECHL contracts (5 forwards, 2 defensemen, 1 goaltender).Lipe (8 GP, 2 pts.) and Jacques (13 GP, 7 pts.) joined Iowa last March from the NCAA ranks and played the final few weeks of the season with the Heartlanders. Each will be a rookie in 2023-24. Lipe manned the blue line at Michigan Tech the last four seasons and Jacques played five years for Minnesota-Duluth.Knaub (6th year pro) and Koch (5th year pro) each played junior hockey in North America but spent the opening seasons of their pro careers in Germany. Koch played 168 career games in Germany’s top-two professional leagues, the DEL and DEL2, from 2019-23 and combined for 37 goals and 104 points. Knaub brings a physical, sandpaper presence forged over 157 games in the DEL2 and the German 3rd pro league, scoring 58 points and earning 437 penalty minutes.Iowa opens the 2023-24 season vs. the Rapid City Rush on Fri., Oct. 20 at 7:05 p.m. Season ticket memberships, mini-plans, partial plans and group tickets are available for the 2023-24 season by visiting iowaheartlanders.com/tickets and by calling 319-569-4625.2023-24 RosterForwards (5): Yuki Miura, Tanner MacMaster, Jesse Jacques, Mike Knaub, Davis KochDefensemen (2): Kevin McKernan, Chris LipeGoaltenders (1): Peyton JonesHead Coach and General Manager Derek Damon:“We are excited to bring back Jesse Jacques and Chris Lipe and announce some strong additions from overseas with Davis Koch and Mike Knaub. We really liked the steps Jesse and Chris took at the end of last year, with each demonstrating skills that will make them valuable parts of our team this season. Davis is the kind of forward we expect to lean on as a playmaker and point producer this season in his first season coming over from Germany. He’s shown that ability in the DEL and DEL2 and produced in big moments for a few teams. Mike is a big guy, 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, that is willing to do anything to help his team win, whether through physicality, outworking opponents and coming through with some goals and points. Overall, these signings are another strong step for our team as we continue the early stages of forming our squad for next season.”

Need to know Jacques scored four goals and seven points for the Heartlanders in 11 games after signing his first professional contract on March 19. That total nearly matched the nine points he produced all of last season with Minnesota-Duluth. Jacques won the NCAA title with the Bulldogs in 2018-19 and skated in every game of the 2019 NCAA tournament. He was a two-time Class A champion at the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament with Hermantown High School (2015-16 and 2016-17 champ), helping the team to a combined record of 56-3-2 in those two championship seasons.  Koch skated in the DEL2 for the most of his career in Germany. His best offensive season came in 2019-20, when he tallied 12 goals and 42 points in 50 games for Heilbronner Falken in the DEL2. He collected 22 points (7g) in the DEL2 for Krefeld last season, then added ten points in 12 games in the league playoffs. The Surrey, BC native also appeared in 28 DEL games for ERC Ingolstadt in 2021-22 (4g, 8 pts.). Koch, 25, wore letters in the WHL for both the Edmonton Oil Kings (team captain) and Vancouver Giants (alternate captain) and bagged 255 points in 319 WHL games from 2014-19.Knaub has split the first five years of his career in the DEL2 (2 seasons) and the German 3rd pro league (3 seasons). Over the last two seasons in the German 3rd league, Knaub has scored 42 points (16g) and produced 121 penalty minutes in 81 games. From 2019-21, Knaub skated for Heilbronner Falken in the DEL2 alongside Davis Koch. On the 2019-20 team, each played with Derek Damon, who was a forward for Heilbronner and in the final year of his 14-season playing career.Lipe had a career-high ten points in 30 games for Michigan Tech as a senior in 2022-23 and began his professional career with the Heartlanders in late March. Lipe played in at least 29 games all four years at Michigan Tech. The right-handed shot stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 194 pounds. Prior to his NCAA career, Lipe skated for Des Moines (2017-18) and Dubuque (2018-19) in the USHL and helped Dubuque qualify for the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs. He is a native of Rockford, MI.