DULUTH, GA – The Atlanta Gladiators announced the signing of forward Luke Nogard for the 2020-2021 ECHL season today.
“He is another piece of the puzzle that plays a puck-possession game and has sneaky offensive ability,” said Atlanta head coach Jeff Pyle. “He went through a lot last year when he played in Europe, then came back more motivated to push us to the playoffs.” Pyle noted that Nogard should be able “to lock in to our system” quickly, thanks to his experience last season. “That will benefit his confidence and be a huge advantage.”
Nogard is a 26-year-old forward from Hamilton, Ontario. He attended the University of Nebraska-Omaha from 2014 to 2018, tallying 10 goals and 13 assists over 114 games played in four seasons. His first foray into the professional game came later in 2018, when he entered four games for the Toledo Walleye. In 2018-2019, Nogard played 65 games for the Norfolk Admirals and registered career highs in games played, goals (16), assists (22), points (38), and penalty minutes (104). Last season, Luke joined the Gladiators and produced 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 30 games played. That stint with the Glads was broken up by a venture overseas, playing in Germany’s second tier DEL2. Nogard played in eight games for the German squad Lausitzer Füsche before concluding the regular season in Atlanta.
Like many members of last season’s team, Luke is eager to build off the 2019-2020 team’s confidence. He noted that the Glads “finished the season as the hottest team in the league”, which is supported by the team finishing the shortened season with a 9-game home winning streak and 10-game overall point streak. Nogard said he was “excited to continue that and build off of that momentum this year.”
“Luke was a great contributor to our team last season before heading to Europe, and he only improved his game when he returned,” noted Gladiators team president Jerry James. “He is a young, skilled player that has grown a lot in the last year. We are looking forward to seeing him make a big leap this season.”