The Atlanta Gladiators have agreed to terms with forwards Brock Higgs and Austin McKay for the 2016-2017 season, the team announced on Tuesday.
Higgs, 24, returns to the Gladiators for his third season with the team. Appearing in 69 games with Atlanta in 2015-2016, the Kingston, Ontario native notched 20 goals and 22 assists for 42 total points. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound forward ranked second on the team in goals (20) and fourth on the team in penalty minutes (63). Prior to turning pro in 2014, Higgs played four years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, serving as team captain in his senior season.
"Higgsy brings a compete level and energy to the team that lends itself to playing in every situation," said Gladiators Head Coach Andy Brandt. "He’s a power play guy, he’s a penalty kill guy, he’s a five-on-five guy. He’s someone we can trust and rely on to go out there and provide leadership in those scenarios."
Austin McKay’s rights were acquired by the Gladiators from the Brampton Beast in June to complete a December 2015 trade. McKay, who wrapped up a four year collegiate career with the Lake Superior State Lakers earlier this spring, appeared in two games with the Brampton Beast at the end of the 2015-2016 season. In 103 games with the Lakers, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Toronto native scored eight goals and five assists and was named team captain in his senior season. The 25-year-old was also selected as Lake Superior State’s 2016 Jim Howie Unsung Hero.
"Austin is a kid that we think will add depth for us in a lot of different areas," said Brandt. "He does all of the little things right on the ice. He’s a big net front presence, with his size, and he’s defensively reliable."
The Atlanta Gladiators 14th season kicks off at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 14th against the Toledo Walleye at 7:35 PM. For ticket information, visit the official team website at www.atlantagladiators.com or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.
The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth – where parking is always free. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for affordable and family-friendly sports entertainment and consistently ranked as one of the top “Things To Do” in the Atlanta area and across the North Georgia region.
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