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."
It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.
— Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threatening illness