Duluth, GA –The Atlanta Gladiators have re-signed forward Avery Peterson. Avery, a 24-year-old left-handed shooting forward, from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, brings an extremely interesting background to Atlanta.
It began with Peterson being named Minnesota’s “Mr. Hockey,” an award given to the best high school hockey player in the state. He earned the honor by scoring 35 goals, with 30 assists, for 65 points in just 25 games, while attending Grand Rapids High and left as the school’s all-time points leader (203). That same year he was selected in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL Draft by his hometown team, the Minnesota Wild.
After spending two seasons playing at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Avery transferred to the University of Minnesota-Duluth to play in his home state. The Bulldogs have a rich history of great hockey players, producing the likes of Hockey Hall of Famer and Stanley Cup Champion Brett Hull, as well as 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Gold Medalist Mark Pavelich.
In his first season in 2016-17, he helped his team to a 28-7-7 record and went all the way to the “Frozen Four,” but lost to Denver in the NCAA National Championship. However, Peterson and the Bulldogs would get to redeem themselves the following season, winning the national title this time with a 2-1 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
“Avery is a young, returning forward that we need to play a physical hard-working game. He skates well and has a heavy shot. His game elevates when he hits and goes to the hard places on the ice. He needs to drive to the net every chance he gets and use his speed and size to be a force out there. He is another great kid that is here for the right reasons. I look forward to having him back,” said Head Coach Jeff Pyle.
Last year, his first as a pro, was a well-traveled one. He spent time with four different teams; the Idaho Steelheads, Norfolk Admirals and Indy Fuel, who would trade him to the Gladiators. Despite playing in only 15 combined games with the other three clubs, he played a bigger role with the Gladiators scoring three goals and five assists in 26 contests.
Peterson on re-signing with the club said, “I really enjoyed my time there last year and am excited I was able to sign back. It’s a good organization to play for and the fans are awesome. I’m looking forward to getting back down there and getting things going!”
The Atlanta Gladiators open the 2019-20 season home schedule on October 18th and 19th at the Infinite Energy Arena. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting www.atlantagladiators.com or by calling the front office at (770) 497-5100.
The Atlanta Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league and are the Affiliate of the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins. All home games are played at the 9,119-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Georgia. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for providing fun, friendly, family, affordable entertainment and are consistently ranked as one of the best “Things to Do” in the Atlanta Metro area and across the North Georgia region.