Two Skilled Bruins Prospects Join Team, Gladiators Ink Big, Tough Forward
The Atlanta Gladiators announced on Monday the NHL’s Boston Bruins have loaned forwards Jesse Gabrielle and Joona Koppanen to the team from the AHL’s Providence Bruins. In addition, the Gladiators have signed forward Andrew Schmit to a standard professional contract.
Gabrielle, 21, joins the Gladiators after he split last season between the AHL’s Providence Bruins and WHL’s Regina Pats. The former fourth-round pick (105 overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins amassed four points (1g, 3a) in 21 games for the P-Bruins before going back to Major-Junior and notching 19 points (13g, 6a) and 55 penalty minutes for the WHL’s Pats during the 2017-18 campaign. Overall, throughout the course of five seasons in the WHL, the Moosomin, SK native registered 228 points (123g, 105a) in 277 games for Brandon, Prince George and Regina. The 6-foot, 205-pound winger had his best WHL season in 2015-16 with career highs in goals (40), assists (35), points (75) and penalty minutes (101) in 72 games for the Cougars of Prince George.
Koppanen (pronounced COUP-uh-NEN), 20, will start his first full season of pro hockey in North America with the Gladiators after spending last season in the Liiga, the top pro league in Finland. The Tampere, FIN native earned 14 points (2g, 12a) in 45 games for Ilves in the Finnish League. The fifth-round selection (135 overall) by the Boston Bruins in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft represented Finland at the 2017-18 U20 World Junior Championships where he posted four points (3g, 1a) in five games. At the end of the last season, the 6-foot-5, 192-pound forward skated in 10 games for the P-Bruins and scored two goals.
Schmit, 27, split last year with the Indy Fuel and Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, earning a combined six assists, a plus-five rating and 28 penalty minutes in 28 games. During his rookie campaign in 2016-17, the 6-foot-5, 225 forward posted 22 points (6g-22a), a plus-10 rating and 91 penalty minutes in 55 games for the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers. The Grafton, WI native played four full seasons in the NCAA split between the University of Nebraska-Omaha and University of Miami-Ohio amassing 15 points (4, 11a) in 96 games.
In a non-related transaction, forward Nolan LaPorte has been added to the 14-day Injured Reserve list.
The 16th season of Atlanta Gladiators hockey begins at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 19th against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at 7:35 PM. For ticket information, visit the official team website at www.atlantagladiators.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. All home games are played at the 10,867-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth – where parking is always free. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for affordable and family-friendly sports entertainment and consistently ranked as one of the top “Things To Do” in the Atlanta area and across the North Georgia region.
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