August 3, 2017 - ECHL (ECHL) - Atlanta Gladiators
DULUTH, Ga. - The Atlanta Gladiators have agreed to terms with forward Alex Gacek and defenseman Ben Danford for 2017 2018, the team announced on Thursday.
Gacek, 24, joined the Gladiators from the Orlando Solar Bears in March in exchange for forward Justin Buzzeo. In 16 games played with Atlanta, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound forward scored four goals and seven assists for 11 total points. Prior to his time with the Glads, the Dracut, Massachusetts native appeared in 19 games with the South Carolina Stingrays (8g, 4a, 12pts) and 26 games with Orlando (14g, 15a, 29pts) for a combined 26 goals and 26 goals for 52 total points during his rookie season.
"Alex is a dynamic hockey player who has a well-rounded game," said Gladiators Head Coach Andy Brandt. "His offensive instincts and hockey IQ are at the next level.
"He is a player that dealt with a lot of adversity in his rookie season and he still had success. That speaks volume to the type of character he brings to our locker room."
The rights to Ben Danford, 28, were acquired in June, completing the Buzzeo trade. The 6-foot, 185-pound Minnesota native skated in 51 games with Orlando last season, notching 6 goals and 14 assists for 20 total points, and earned a +21 plus/minus rating. During a four year collegiate career at Canisius College, Danford amassed 84 points in 158 games played.
"Ben is a mobile defenseman who can contribute offensive numbers," said Brandt. "What stood out for us over the course of last season, however, was his ability to defend against our top lines."