Hillen was originally signed by the Islanders on April 1, 2008, at the completion of his senior year at Colorado College. He played in two games at the end of the Islanders’ 2007-08 season and recorded an assist, his first National Hockey League point. Last season, Hillen played in 40 games for the Islanders, registering a goal and five assists for six points. The tally was his first in the NHL and it came on March 5 against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers.
"We are happy to have Jack signed," said Garth Snow, General Manager, New York Islanders. "He proved to be a reliable defenseman and should continue to be a productive player for our team."
Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.
— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL