The Atlanta Gladiators add two Atlanta-natives to their 2020-2021 roster. The team signed defenseman Zach Yoder and traded for Kansas City Mavericks defenseman Malcolm Hayes in exchange for future considerations.
25-year-old defenseman Malcom Hayes played the majority of his collegiate hockey at the University of Maine from 2014 to 2018. Hayes signed with the SPHL’s Fayetteville Marksmen and participated 17 games in the early portion of the 2019-2020 season. He then signed with the Mavericks in the ECHL’s Mountain Division, where he played in 18 games.
“I could not be more excited about coming back home and joining the Gladiators,” Hayes said. “I have heard great things about Coach Pyle and the organization as a whole. I cannot wait to get the season going.”
25-year-old defenseman Zach Yoder is the product of the Woodstock High School ice hockey program in Cherokee County, Georgia. Zach played one season at the Air Force Academy before gaining most of his collegiate experience at Ferris State University, team captain Derek Nesbitt’s alma mater. He began his professional career appearing in four games for the Toledo Walleye towards the end of the 2019-2020 season.
Coach Pyle mentioned how the signing of Hayes and Yoder spoke to the strength of Atlanta’s hockey community: “The development of the youth hockey programs in Atlanta shows how far we have come in the past twenty years. I tip my cap to each and every arena for what they have contributed and accomplished. I am excited to see these players play in front of their family and friends here in Atlanta.”
Last week the Gladiators announced their first re-signing of the 2020-2021 ECHL season, with forward and team captain Derek Nesbitt. The return of Nesbitt marks his ninth season with the organization.
The ECHL announced that the League will hold an NHL 20 Tournament, with the games to be streamed live on Twitch with links provided on social media each day. Fans can tune into the Gladiators games on the team’s official Twitch channel, or follow the ECHL on social media for all game broadcast information.