CINCINNATI, OH – After the first four off-season signings have all been forwards, the Cincinnati Cyclones have now turned their attention to the back end by adding their first defenseman of the summer. Arvin Atwal will be returning to patrol the Cincinnati blue line this fall.
Atwal’s rookie season was cut short due to injury last season, as he only suited up in 39 games for the Cyclones. However, he adds a ginormous physical presence to the lineup and has no fear whatsoever. From what I saw last season, I’d be willing to bet the guy would square up to lion with one hand tied behind his back. He missed almost the entire second half of the season, and still ranked third on the team in penalty minutes, racked up 98. Atwal also adds a bit of offense to his game tallying 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) during his shortened year.
“This was an important signing for us this summer,” said Cyclones Head Coach Matt Macdonald said in a press release. “Although Arvin did not play the full season, he still grew tremendously as a player and person. He brings a lot of energy, physicality and mobility to our back end, and we expect him to be a significant part of our defensive core and continue to grow on his impressive rookie campaign.”
Prior to turning pro last fall, the Delta, British Columbia native spent four years in Canadian Juniors in the Western Hockey League. During his senior campaign of juniors with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, he was the second highest scoring defenseman on the team with 50 points (11 goals, 39 assists) in 71 contests. Before heading to Lethbridge, he spent his earlier junior days with the Vancouver Giants, accounting for 58 points (14 goals, 44 assists) in 154 games.
“I’m really excited to head back to Cincinnati. I had a great experience and learned a lot,” remarked Atwal. “I was injured for half of last year, and I have been doing everything I can to make sure I come back better and stronger than where I left off. Cincinnati is great and the amazing fans made it an awesome place to play every night.”
Atwal brings just about everything to table. He brings toughness, offense, stability on the back end, and even more importantly, he is a tremendous guy in the locker room. He is somebody that can help keep the room light during dark times and can really help a team stick together. In most cases, your notorious tough guys, Seth Ambroz as an example, are that rock in the room that keeps everyone together, and this definitely is one of those cases.
Atwal’s highlights from the 2016-17 season can be found below.
— Cincinnati Cyclones (@CincyCyclones) August 9, 2017