Tag Archives: Gwinnett Gladiators

Pascal Pelletier(23) Utica Comets

Pascal Pelletier

Undrafted 10th year center Pascal Pelletier(23) returned to North American hockey signing a one-year two-way deal with Vancouver Canucks for 2013/2014.

He spent the last three seasons in the Swiss elite league NLA, skating games for Langnau, putting up close to point-per-game numbers.

The strong skating, stocky 5’11” 196 lbs. forward was reassigned to expansion team Utica Comets and set a new career high assists with 40 in 69 AHL games.

His 62 points were also second highest of his pro career.

He appeared in 3 games with the parent club but failed to hit the score sheet. He’s played 16 total NHL games but has yet to register a point.

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Scott Fleming(24) Fort Wayne Komets

Scott Fleming

At 26-years old Fort Wayne Komets‘ center Scott Fleming(24) has to be enjoying his “rookie” season.

He first signed an agreement to join the team’s preseason roster but once they saw him play he was a part of the team.

He last played on ultimate reassignment to Gwinnett Gladiators in 2011/2012 after invites to affiliates Phoenix Coyotes and Portland Pirates‘ training camps.

His first year pro was cut short after only 6 games with 3 goals and 1 assists after suffering a season-ending concussion.

The 5’11” 180 lbs. undrafted forward is another player that took a somewhat longer route before ever signing a contract.

He started at 16 with three years marking up the score sheet in the OPJHL before moving on to 4 seasons of hockey at Dartmouth College, where he served as team captain in 2010-2011.

After almost two full campaigns of sitting on the sidelines, his return picks up where he left off.

In 40 ECHL games he has 11 goals and 23 assists with a +13 rating.

His point production got him noticed as Worcester Sharks signed him to a pto to fill some injured holes in the lineup.

He skated in 4 AHL games and dished a pair of helpers with a +1 plus/minus, which could easily grab the attention on another higher league club.

For now though, he’ll go back to double A hockey, continue to work on his game and help his team win.

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Akim Aliu(78) Hartford Wolf Pack

Akim Aliu1

5th year right wing Akim Aliu(78) is a bit of an enigma.

Originally a Chicago Blackhawks‘ 2nd round pick in the 2007 draft (#56 overall), the rough and tough forward has only played in 7 NHL games while under contract with Calgary Flames, who picked up the last year of his entry level contract, then qualified him for another season.

In his first pair of big league games he notched a pair of goals and an assist but through his next five contests in last year’s lockout shortened season he failed to connect with the score sheet.

The 6’4″ 225 lbs. power forward spent most of his time with farm club Abbotsford Heat, where in 84 games he’s collected a sparse 14 goals and 11 assists with an unsettling -20 rating.

Through 214 AHL contests his point totals are surprisingly low.

It’s fairly well documented that the still young 24-year old has temper and attitude problems, which probably has a lot to do with his limited success.

He started the current campaign on a try-out contract with Hamilton Bulldogs but was released after 14 games.

Picked up a month later by a struggling Hartford Wolf Pack, in a pair of appearances he scored his first tally with the team, has one fight and unloaded 5 shots on net.

He seems to fit with the team pretty well but without a sizable increase of offense production, it seems unlikely he’ll be given an spc to stay through the regular season.

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Tim Miller(9) Springfield Falcons

Tim Miller1

5th year, undrafted left wing Tim Miller(9) finds a new home in the minors after being traded from long-time team Chicago Wolves to Springfield Falcons for future considerations.

The Eastern Conference squad  is likely hoping he can return to form from a couple of seasons ago when he notched 19 goals, 19 assists and was a +19 rating in 70 AHL games.

His numbers slipped dramatically in his next campaign and he was posting a goose egg when he was let go.

The 6′ 198 lbs. definitely plays a feisty power forward type game but seems to be more of a mucker than a play maker or goal scorer in the early going.

In 198 games in the league he has 34 goals and 34 assists (likes those consistent numbers) with an overall +12 plus/minus.

The 26-year old played a couple of half-seasons in the ECHL with Gwinnett Gladiators n the first two years of his pro career. He was just about a point-per-game guy there.

It would be no surprise to see him sign a deal in the lower league next year.

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Keven Veilleux(19) Gwinnett Gladiators

Keven Veilleux

5th year center Keven Veilleux(19) begins the 2013/2014 season in the ECHL with Gwinnett Gladiators on reassignment from the parent club (although not under contract) after attending both parent clubs, Phoenix Coyotes and Portland Pirates‘ training camps on invites.

The big 6’5″ 224 lbs. forward was originally a Pittsburgh Penguins 2nd round pick in the 2007 draft (#51 overall) and signed to a three-year entry level deal but never skated with the team.

He was reassigned to their farm club, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where he suffered season ending injuries on two occasions and only played one full campaign with them.

In that year he played like the power forward he’s projected to become, scoring 12 goals and 24 assists with 122 penalty minutes in 66 AHL games.

The still only 24-year old forward inked an NHL extension for another season but was sent further down the prospect chain to their double A affiliate Wheeling Nailers, where he continued to pick up his scoring pace but was also involved in a racial tirade that got his pro career in a lot of hot water.

It’s very probable that towering offensive presence will see more time in the higher league on a pto but where it goes from there is anyone’s guess, unless he steps it up.

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Justin Weller(27) Gwinnett Gladiators

Justin Weller

Phoenix Coyotes‘ 4th round pick in the 2009 draft (#105 overall) defenseman Justin Weller(27) was assigned to the club’s double A affiliate Gwinnett Gladiators to start his second pro season.

He’s signed to a three year entry level deal, but failed to appear in the parent club’s training camp after prospect camp and reported to Portland Pirates‘ to skate in preseason games before recently getting cut. This is the final year of his contract.

At 6’2″ 205 lbs. he has fairly good size but has yet to crack even their AHL team’s roster.

In 65 ECHL games in his rookie season he scored a pair of goals and 9 assists with a +7 rating. He added another tally and a helper in 10 Kelly Cup Playoff contests.

The 22-year old played 5 years of junior hockey in the WHL with Red Deer Rebels but was never a big point producer, favoring maybe a bit more of a stay-at-home defensive style.

If he can shine in his sophomore campaign, he may still be left unqualified going into 2014/2015, but could find himself a nice home for hockey overseas or look to continue to climb the ladder through the minors in North America.

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Alex Hutchings(11) Gwinnett Gladiators

Alex Hutchings1

4th year left wing Alex Hutchings(11) will put on the skates for Gwinnett Gladiators in 2013/2014.

Originally a Tampa Bay Lightning 4th round pick in 2009 (#93 overall), he was signed to a 3-year entry level deal but spent most of his playing time in the ECHL with affiliate Florida Everblades than he did in the AHL with Syracuse Crunch or Norfolk Admirals.

In the last two campaigns in the league, the 5’10” 178 lbs. forward recorded almost a point-per-game with 26 goals and 32 assists in 63 games.

He set similar marks in four seasons of junior hockey in the OHL with Barrie Colts, where he exploded for 111 goals and 97 assists.

At only 22-years old, he’ll likely continue to occupy the score sheet in the lower league and will likely receive a call-up or two but will have to contribute more to stay put.

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Nikita Kashirsky(5) Reading Royals

5th year undrafted Russian-born left wing Nikita Kashirsky(5) re-signs for another run with Reading Royals after being an integral part of the 2013 Kelly Cup Championship team.

In 41 ECHL games last season he struck for 17 goals and 27 assists with a +11 rating and didn’t stop there as he appeared in all 22 playoff contests connecting for another 5 tallies and 15 helpers with a +12 plus/minus. His 15 assists in the postseason were tied for the league lead.

Skating most of his pro career with a few different ECHL clubs, he’s managed to put up 161 points (66 + 95) in 191 games.

He received 3 AHL call-ups in his first two seasons with Springfield Falcons, Manitoba Moose and Hershey Bears but the 6′ 196 lbs. forward has been unable to score himself a permanent gig for a higher club despite his very able point production in AA hockey.

The 28-year old has maybe a bit surprisingly played almost all his hockey in North America except for one game in the KHL.

Nikita Kashirsky1

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Riley Boychuk(45) New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils shed more salary cap to pick up 3rd year larger than life left wing prospect Riley Boychuk(45) from Buffalo Sabres, the team that drafted him in the 7th round of 2010 (#208 overall).

He is in the last season of a three-year entry level deal that has seen him play mostly AA pro hockey, last year in the Central Hockey League reassigned to Fort Worth Brahmas and in his rookie campaign he played 20 games with Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL.

The 6’5″ 205 lbs. player put up career high goals, assists and points (8-9-17) in his sophomore year.

He’s anticipated to join Albany Devils for 2013/2014. He was recently invited to the parent club’s development camp and will definitely be joining them again in September.

The 23-year old played 26 AHL games in his first season with Rochester Americans and had a pair of helpers but is still looking for his AAA tally.

No doubt, this is a big frame forward that needs to be stepping it up.

Riley Boychuk


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Derek Nesbitt(16) WBS Penguins

8th year undrafted right wing Derek Nesbitt(16) is one of those players that has consistently worked hard for every break he’s ever received playing pro hockey.

He joined his ninth team, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to help them with their AHL Calder Cup playoffs push. He was traded from Peoria Rivermen, who was out of postseason contention.

The 6′ 185 lbs. forward started his career in the ECHL for a couple of seasons and won a Kelly Cup Championship in his sophomore campaign with Idaho Steelheads. He also put up 81 points in 66 games and another 6 goals and 12 assists in 22 playoff contests that breakout year.

It also set him up to move up to the higher league on a more permanent basis. In 211 ECHL games he has 86 goals and 154 assists.

He signed his only NHL deal with Phoenix Coyotes, a one-year two-way deal, a couple of seasons later.

He has spent most of his playing time in the AHL for the past 6 seasons, where he also has some pretty impressive numbers with 92 goals and 111 assists in 320 games.

The 31-year old is an unrestricted free agent pretty much like he’s always been, heading in 2013/2014 and is coming off his third straight 40+ point year and one where he tallied a career best 26 goals.

Derek Nesbitt

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