For immediate release

For more information, contact: Joel Silverberg, Director of Broadcasting (865) 525-7825,

Justin Portillo played in 14 games for Knoxville last season. PHOTO: Daniel Moore.

The Knoxville Ice Bears have re-signed forward Justin Portillo for the 2023-24 campaign. Portillo joined Knoxville in mid-February after playing 26 games for Vermilion County. He appeared in 14 games for the Ice Bears last season.

“Ports is a veteran player who brings a lot of energy,” said Ice Bears Head Coach Brent Clarke. “He plays a very physical role.”

Portillo is entering his seventh pro season and third in the SPHL. He spent the first four seasons of his career in the FPHL with Cornwall, Port Huron, Elmira and Watertown. He served as Vermilion County’s captain over the past two seasons before the Bobcats ceased operations and was signed by Knoxville. He also appeared in 11 games in the ECHL for Kansas City in 2021-22.

The Ice Bears begin their 22nd season in franchise history on Friday, October 20 at Macon. Knoxville’s home opener will be Friday, October 27 against Birmingham. Free agent camp will take place on October 4-5 with preseason training camp occurring the following week.

ABOUT The Knoxville Ice Bears: The Knoxville Ice Bears organization began in 2002 and was an inaugural charter member of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) in 2004. As four-time SPHL Champions and five-time regular season champions, the Ice Bears are an experienced and established organization, offering the city and its visitors a balanced product of highlight-reel hockey, unique and exciting intermission activity and endless fan interaction, presenting the most affordable, family-friendly way to enjoy sports and entertainment. Season, Partial Season and Flex Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit or call (865) 525-7825.