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Gladiators swap forwards with AHL

DULUTH -- The Gwinnett Gladiators roster continues to fluctuate.

A day after both goalies were called up to the AHL, Binghampton took forward Mike Bartlett.

In a separate transaction, Buffalo draft pick Riley Boychuk was assigned from AHL Rochester to Gwinnett.

Unlike the goaltenders, who are expected back before Friday's home game against South Carolina, Bartlett was told to pack all his stuff.

"I think that will be the last we see of him," head coach John Wroblewski said.

Bartlett played three games for Houston in the AHL this season, but was released Nov. 2 and signed as a free agent by the Gladiators two days later.

The Illinois native played six games for Gwinnett and put up six points, including three in a win at Toledo last Friday. Bartlett played 71 games for Milwaukee last year and is in his fourth professional season. He, like Wroblewski, is a product of the Notre Dame hockey program.

"I'm very happy that Bart got his opportunity to play in the AHL the last couple of seasons," Wroblewski said. "I hope what we gave him was an opportunity to get in shape and hone his skill here."

Boychuk, a seventh-round draft pick of the Sabres in 2010, is still just 20 years old, but an imposing force at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds.

"He's supposed to be a big power forward," Wroblewski said. "He wasn't getting an opportunity in Rochester. It's a huge jump from the WHL to the AHL, especially in that department. We're going to help him along, work on his dynamic."

Boychuk spent the last three seasons playing for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL. The Abbottsford, B.C., native had 82 points and 391 penalty minutes in 188 career regular-season games for Portland. He also added 15 points and 74 PIMs in 34 playoffs games as the Winterhawks made two deep postseason runs in 2010 and 2011.

Boychuk played just eight games in Rochester, though, and had one assist.

"He'll play tough for us," Wroblewski said.

Boychuk should be here in time for Friday's game, the first of a three-in-three stretch for Gwinnett.

Wroblewski is also planning to have goalies Jeff Jakaitis and Marc Cheverie back by then.

Jakaitis was called up to Rochester and Cheverie was assigned to Portland by the Phoenix Coyotes.

"We have a few contingency plans in line in case the situation doesn't come to fruition," Wroblewski said. "But the expectation is both will be back."