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Topatigh Strengthens Glads' D-Core

September 8, 2021 - ECHL (ECHL) - Atlanta Gladiators News Release

DULUTH, Ga. - Atlanta Gladiators President Jerry James and Head Coach Jeff Pyle announced on Wednesday that defenseman Derek Topatigh has agreed to terms for the 2021-2022 season.

"Topatigh is a tough kid who plays hard and plays the right way," said James. "He's another good fit for the kind of identity we're building here in Atlanta."

Topatigh, 24, enters his second professional season and his first with the Gladiators. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder turned pro with the Macon Mayhem of the Southern Professional Hockey League in the 2020-21 season. Topatigh helped push the Mayhem to the playoffs where he netted two assists in four games. The Mississauga, Ontario native also played seven games with the Wheeling Nailers.

"Derek is a very smart player that is great in systems and plays hard," said Pyle. "He is good on both sides of the puck and is very versatile. He's a great teammate who will fit well in our room."

Topatigh spent his college career playing NCAA Division I hockey with Princeton University. Serving as a captain his senior year, the defenseman led his team in blocked shots (47) and led the Princeton blue line in points (14). Topatigh appeared in 129 games in four years with Princeton and posted 43 points (15G-28A).

Topatigh is the seventh defenseman and the 16th player to sign with the Gladiators for 2021-22. He joins Derek Nesbitt (F), Mike Pelech (F), Cody Sylvester (F), Kamerin Nault (F), Matt Wedman (F), Luke Nogard (F), Hugo Roy (F), Tyler Kobryn (F), Tommy Besinger (F), Dalton Thrower (D), Josh Thrower (D), Greg Campbell (D), Tim Davison (D), Malcolm Hayes (F/D), and Zach Yoder (D).

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