Gladiators Gain DeHart to the Blue Line
DULUTH, Ga. - The Gwinnett Gladiators announced the signing of defenseman Tony DeHart for the 2014-15 season on Wednesday.
DeHart, a fifth-round draft pick (125th overall) of the New York Islanders in 2010, split his time last season with the now-defunct St. Charles Chill of the CHL and the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, scoring 12 points (2g, 10a) over 19 total games with the two squads. In 129 professional contests, the 24-year-old has 54 points (11g, 43a) and 123 penalty minutes to his name.
"One of our goals from a player personnel standpoint this season is to upgrade our defensive core and Tony is another step in that direction," said Gladiators President Steve Chapman. "He brings a big body with good hands and solid offensive potential. Equally important is what we have been told of him concerning his drive and character. He fought his way back through a nagging knee issue last year and is looking to prove that he's back to form."
The Ballwin, Missouri native had a breakout sophomore season in 2012-13, scoring 30 points (5g, 25a) over 62 games with the Stockton Thunder, tied for second-most among their defensemen. That year he also played in all 23 of the Thunder's playoff matches during the team's run up to the Kelly Cup Finals.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman played for five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, his first two years with the London Knights before moving on to the Oshawa Generals, where he was named to the OHL All-Star Game in 2009-10. In 261 total OHL games, DeHart registered 116 points (23g, 93a) and 302 penalty minutes.
DeHart is the latest player to sign with Gwinnett, joining fellow defensemen Daniel Spivak (SPEE-vack) and Joe Stejskal (STAY-skull), forwards Marshall Everson (EVE-er-son), Randy Cameron, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, and Brenden Walker, and goaltender Mark Guggenberger (GOOG-in-berger).
With the team's 11th season in the books, the Gladiators are set to return for their 2014-15 campaign at the Arena at Gwinnett Center with the team's Home Opener set for October 24th at 7:35 p.m. against the Wheeling Nailers. For tickets and schedule information, visit the official team website at www.gwinnettgladiators.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 and are affiliated with the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.
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