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."
Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.
— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals