Duluth, GA – The Atlanta Gladiators signed two former AHL players in Josh Thrower and Chris Forney that adds more strength to their defense. Both players spent time last year in the AHL and ECHL.
Josh Thrower is a 23-years-old, 6-foot-1, 200-pound, right-handed defenseman from Squamish, British Columbia. Josh spent six seasons in the WHL, winning a bronze and silver medal, as well as a championship. While there he played with the Calgary Hitmen, Tri-City Americans, Vancouver Giants, and Moose Jaw Warriors. In 309 games he had 11 goals, 73 assists, for 84 points.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Gladiator organization. I’ve heard from past and present players that it is a first-class place to live and play. The fans and facility are among the best in the league. I’ve been known for my physical and defensive style of play, but I am looking forward to having a bigger roll and bringing more offense to the table this year. I’ll bring a high compete level every night and be a great teammate both on and off the ice. Going to be a great run this year and I’m excited to help bring a Kelly Cup to Atlanta,” said the new defenseman.
Josh is very familiar with the ECHL, spending the last two years (his first two as a pro) with the Allen Americans and brings AHL experience with the Iowa Wild. Although he scored just one goal and 11 assists for 12 total points over the last two seasons, he is a shutdown defenseman that will add another level of toughness to the Gladiators’ defense.
"Josh is a big, hard-nosed defenseman that skates well and brings us an element that we didn't have enough of last year. I think he is ready to accept more of an offensive role and develop his game. I like his energy and I'm excited to have him join our team. He’s a good fit for us,” said the Glads Head Coach.
The Gladiators have also signed 24-years-old, lefty shooting defenseman Chris Forney. The Thief Rivers Falls, Minnesota native played his college hockey for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. In 135 games over four seasons, he scored 14 goals and 35 assists for 49 points.
After finishing his senior year for the River Hawks in 2017-18, he went straight to the AHL to play for the San Diego Gulls. Last season, Chris returned to San Diego but spent most of the season playing in the ECHL for the Tulsa Oilers. With Tulsa, he played in 40 games, scoring three goals, with 11 assists for 14 points and saw 20 games of additional action for the Oilers in the playoffs.
Chris’ older brother Mike was not only a former AHL player himself but also a member of the Gladiators during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
“We were lucky to get Chris. Mike reached out to me and wanted Chris to come here. After the season we talked, and we are extremely happy to have him. He will have an opportunity to be in situations that will benefit his game. He is big, skates well, with a great shot and plays in all situations. A great kid that will see some AHL time," said Coach Pyle.
The Atlanta Gladiators open the 2019-20 season home schedule on October 18th and 19th at the Infinite Energy Arena. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting www.atlantagladiators.com or by calling the front office at (770) 497-5100.
The Atlanta Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nation’s premier "AA" hockey league and are the Affiliate of the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins. All home games are played at the 9,119-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Georgia. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for providing fun, friendly, family, affordable entertainment and are consistently ranked as one of the best “Things to Do” in the Atlanta Metro area and across the North Georgia region