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Gladiators sign blueliners Krogh, Narbonne

The Gwinnett Gladiators signed Ohio State defenseman Devon Krogh, one of the first players picked for the 2013-14 campaign. (Photo: Ohio State University)

The Gwinnett Gladiators signed Ohio State defenseman Devon Krogh, one of the first players picked for the 2013-14 campaign. (Photo: Ohio State University)

DULUTH — The Gwinnett Gladiators signed their first two players for the 2013-14 season with a pair of young defensemen.

Jonathan Narbonne, 20, is returning to the team after a very brief stint at the end of last year. Joining him on the fledgling roster is Devon Krogh, 23, an Ohio State product.

Krogh had a connection to Gladiators head coach John Wroblewski through the coaching staff at Ohio State.

“I had an opportunity to talk to him about three weeks ago and really enjoyed the phone call,” Krogh said. He already knew something of Gwinnett and talked to a few former college teammates who have played here, including Sean Duddy and Shane Sims. “It wasn’t a tough decision for me,” Krogh said. The West Vancouver, B.C., native had 11 points in 31 games as a senior with Ohio State last season. It was the most successful season for the team during Krogh’s career, but, personally, he was beset by injuries. Krogh fractured his wrist in the first game of the season and missed about a month. Then on Christmas Eve, he had to have his appendix removed.

“That was really tough for me, senior year, and I was battling through injuries,” Krogh said. He was still able to play 31 games — impressive in a college season that usually doesn’t go much more than 35.

“It was a quicker turnaround than I thought it would be on the appendix,” Krogh said. “The wrist was a bummer.”

A three-time Ohio State scholar-athlete and a two-time academic All-Big Ten choice, he played in 129 games in his four-year Buckeye career, totaling eight goals, 33 assists and 146 penalty minutes. Krogh described himself as a mobile, puck-moving defenseman.

“I enjoy the offense, but I understand I’m a defenseman,” he said. Krogh, who’s dad played in the CFL, is still in Columbus with a week left of classes and has been training there all summer.

“A lot of guys come back,” he said. “The skates are really good.”

He’s going to go home for a while after classes end and “climb some mountains” before returning to Columbus for the last part of the offseason. Then he’ll head down to Gwinnett for the start of training camp in October. Narbonne was brought to Gwinnett on March 31 after finishing his over-age season in major junior hockey with the Moncton Wildcats in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Laval, Quebec native put up 40 points (nine goals, 31 assists) in 57 games and also added an assist in five playoff games with Moncton. He began the season with Shawinigan and had seven points in six games before being traded to Moncton on Oct. 9.

Narbonne had helped Shawinigan to a Memorial Cup Championship in the 2011-12 season and completed his junior career in the QMJHL with 104 points in 229 career games from 2007-13.