The Atlanta Gladiators announced Tuesday they have signed forwards Colin Jacobs and Chase Witala for the 2017-18 season.
Jacobs, 24, was on pace for a career year last season with the Gladiators as he registered 10 points (4-6-10) in 12 games before a shoulder injury ended his season. The fourth-year pro spent the previous three seasons with the ECHL's Elmira Jackals. In 123 career games with the Jackals, the Coppell, TX native notched 47 total points (21-26-47). Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 4th Round (107th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound forward has spent time in each of the first four seasons with the AHL's Rochester Americans. Jacobs has tallied seven points (1-6-7) in 46 career AHL games.
“It’s hard to say how things would have played out if I stayed healthy last season after an optimistic start,” said Jacobs. “I was able to learn a lot from not playing and watching from up top, picking up on certain areas of the game that I maybe didn't see from ice level. I want to take that and add it to the confidence I have from the success I managed to start last year and build off that moving forward this season.”
Witala, 22, joins the Gladiators coming off a contract with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies last season. The Price George, BC native spent the 2016-17 campaign in the ECHL for the Orlando Solar Bears where he notched 19 points (7-12-19) in 46 games. The 6-foot, 174-pound forward collected two assits in three AHL games for Toronto at the end of the 2015-16 season. Prior to commencing his pro career, Witala recorded 239 points (120-119-239) in 302 games in the Western Hockey League over five seasons for his hometown Prince George Cougars. The 120 goals scored by Witala as a Cougar stands as the most all-time in franchise history. The Major Junior standout set career highs with 40 goals and 79 points in 71 games in his final WHL season, while serving as the team’s alternate captain.
“Looking over all my options this summer I felt Atlanta was the best fit for me to succeed as a player,” said Witala. “I want to get better every day on and off the ice and want to do it for an organization I’ve heard nothing but great things about.”
The Atlanta Gladiators 15th anniversary season kicks off at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 20th against the Florida Everblades at 7:35 PM. For ticket package information, visit the official team website at www.atlantagladiators.com or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.
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