DULUTH, Ga. –The Atlanta Gladiators announced Saturday that they have re-signed forward Branden Troock.
“Last year was only the tip of the iceberg for us as a team. With our core group returning, I see us doing something special this season,” said Troock. “I’m a firm believer that team success leads to induvial gain, not the other way around. We have the right pieces and good character guys in the locker room to continue to build a positive and winning environment, which will lead to wins and thus personal success comes with that.”
“Not taking anything away from the other guys, but this is our biggest signing of the summer,” said Head Coach and General Manager of Hockey Operations Jeff Pyle. “He is an elite offensive talent and a difference maker on the ice. Not often does a guy average over a point-per-game, and people see the potential for him to score even more than that. If he is motivated the correct way, trusts the system, works on developing all aspects of his game and has fun doing it, the sky will be the limit for this kid.”
Troock, 24, had his best offensive season as a professional last year, obtaining 47 points (17g, 30a) in 45 games split between Atlanta and Greenville. Before the March 5th trade brought the forward to the Gladiators from the Swamp Rabbits, the former fifth round draft pick (134th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars) notched 37 points (16g, 21a) in 35 games with Greenville. The Edmonton, AB native has spent the bulk of his pro career in the American Hockey League where he registered 37 points (13g, 24a) in 119 AHL games for the Texas Stars, Hartford Wolfpack and Tucson Roadrunners. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound winger has earned a total of 63 points (27g-36a) in 73 career ECHL games for Idaho, Greenville and Atlanta.
“My obvious goal is that I want to get back to the AHL and try to play at the highest level,” said Troock. “With that being said, getting back to the next rung on the ladder will be easier to accomplish in a place that I know will have success as a team, and that has such a positive atmosphere in the locker room.”
Before turning professional at the start of the 2014-15 season, the now fifth-year pro posted 101 points (45g, 56a) in 144 Western Hockey League (WHL) games for the Seattle Thunderbirds. His most successful Major-Junior season occurred during the 2013-14 season when Troock amassed 58 points (24g, 34a) in 58 games played for the T-Birds.
“Size, speed, great shot, hockey sense and skill. He has all the tools to have another great season,” said Pyle. “He will be an integral part of this team’s success, and it’s my goal to get the most out of him to take his game to new heights.”
The 16th season of Atlanta Gladiators hockey begins at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 19th against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 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 10,867-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.For all the latest team news, contests, and more visit AtlantaGladiators.com, or “like” the Gladiators on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AtlantaGladiators), follow the team on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ATLGladiators), Instagram (www.instagram.com/atlgladiators) or Snapchat (www.snapchat.com) at "gladshockey".