Defensemen Tyler Shiplo and Kevin Albers have agreed to terms for the 2015-2016 season, the Gladiators announced Tuesday.
Shiplo, 23, made his professional debut scoring one goal and two assists in eight games for the Gladiators at the end of last season after he concluded his NCAA career with Mercyhurst College. The Oakville, ON native skated in 158 games from 2011-2015 for the Lakers producing 67 points with a plus-15 rating and was named the team’s Assistant Captain his senior season. Shiplo was teammates with also recently re-signed forward Daniel Bahntge all four seasons at Mercyhurst. Preceding his time in college, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound defender played two seasons in the Ontario Junior hockey league (OJHL) for the Mississauga Chargers and Georgetown Raiders. Shiplo notched 61 points in 103 OJHL games played from 2009-2011.
“Shiplo is a crafty defenseman with a great detail to the game and compete level that will make him excel in this league,” said Gladiators Head Coach Andy Brandt. “Some will say he is undersized for a defenseman in this league, but he came in at the end of last season and proved that’s not true and excelled in many facets of the game to earn his spot.”
Albers, 23, began the 2014-2015 campaign skating his final year with the NCAA’s Niagara University Purple Eagles and ended the season signing his first professional contract with the Gladiators. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound defensemen tallied one assist in nine games played for Gwinnett. Albers had a successful collegiate career for Niagara manufacturing three goals and 17 assists in 121 games played from 2011-2015. The Lake Orion, MI native was named the Purple Eagle’s Co-Captain for his junior and season seasons. Albers saw time in the USHL from 2008-2011 generating 22 points and 207 penalty minutes in 133 games played for the Green Bay Gamblers, Muskegon Lumberjacks and Omaha Lancers.
“Albers, just like Shiplo, came in at the end of last season and truly impressed us with his game,” stated Brandt. “He has good size as a simple puck moving defenseman with a lot of grit who can log key minutes for us on the back end. We have high expectations for him to be a shutdown defenseman for us this season.”