Gladiators Sign Forward Derek Nesbitt
The Gwinnett Gladiators announced today that they have agreed to terms with forward Derek Nesbitt for the 2010-2011 season.
"Nezzy was an integral part of our Kelly Cup Finals team," said Gladiators Head Coach Jeff Pyle. "He knows the systems already and he will bring offense and leadership to the team this season."
Nesbitt returns to the Gladiators after having played with Gwinnett during the 2005-06 season and the 2007-08 season. He ranked third in scoring with 69 points (26 goals, 43 assists) during his rookie campaign with Gwinnett in 2005-06 and helped the Gladiators advance to the 2006 Kelly Cup Finals.
The Egmondville, Ontario, native helped the Idaho Steelheads capture the 2007 Kelly Cup Championship. He had 81 points with Idaho and led the team with 51 assists during the season. He ranked fourth in scoring on the Steelheads during the 2007 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Nesbitt earned his first call up to the American Hockey League while with Gwinnett during the 2007-08 season. At the time of his recall, Nesbitt led the Gladiators in scoring with 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists) before joining the Rockford IceHogs. The 6-foot, 190-pound forward finished the season with Rockford and recorded 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in 46 regular season games and added six points (three goals, 3 assists) in 12 Calder Cup Playoff Games.
Nesbitt split time between AHL Rockford and Toledo last year. He had 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) in 37 games with Toledo while he notched five points (four goals, one assist) in 23 AHL games. He appeared in 54 combined AHL games with San Antonio and Manitoba during the 2008-09 season and finished the year with a combined 19 points (six goals, 13 points).
Prior to joining the Gladiators for his rookie campaign, Nesbitt skated four seasons at Ferris State University. He completed his collegiate career with 141 points (59 goals, 82 assists) in 154 career collegiate games. Nesbitt also appeared in seven playoff games with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs in 2005 following his senior season at Ferris State.
The Gwinnett Gladiators open the 2010-11 season on the road before returning home to host the South Carolina Stingrays on Friday, October 22nd at 7:35 p.m. The Gladiators are the AA affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers and play all home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.
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