DULUTH —On the eve of training camp, the Gwinnett Gladiators were assigned two more players from their NHL affiliate in Phoenix.
Goaltender Louis Domingue returns to start his second straight season in Gwinnett and high-scoring forward Brenden Walker will make his professional debut as a Gladiator.
Domingue was a key cog last season for the Gladiators. The 21-year-old goalie was 23-9-2 in 34 regular season games to go with a 2.69 goals against average and a .904 save percentage. He also started 18 of the team’s final 20 games, including all 10 of the Gladiators playoff tilts.
“Louis is an all-world goalie — he showed it with us last year,” Gladiators head coach Rick Emmett said.
The Mont St-Hilaire, Quebec native only got better as the season went on, with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage during March. Domingue won 10 straight starts from early March through mid-April. He also played in two American Hockey League games with the Portland Pirates (1-0, 2.40, .931).
“He’s determined to come down here and be a top goalie in the league and that’s all you can ask for,” Emmett said. “We’ll have one of the strongest goaltending tandems in the league (with follow Coyotes prospect Chris Rawlings).”
Walker, 21, created quite the résumé for himself in his past four seasons in the Western Hockey League. The St. Anne, Manitoba native scored at least 25 goals in each of his past three seasons, finishing his junior career with 228 points (93 goals, 135 assists) in 269 games between the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Saskatoon Blades. As team captain in Saskatoon last season, Walker scored a career-high 33 goals in just 72 games.
The Gladiators also announced the signing of Central Hockey League all-rookie defenseman Daniel Spivak and released the preliminary training camp roster Friday.
Spivak, 25, spent his rookie season on the blue line for the Fort Worth Brahmas of the CHL. Prior to that, he played in 122 games over four years at R.I.T. along with current Gladiator forward C.J. Lee.
Gwinnett’s camp roster features 21 skaters, including three Coyotes prospects and five tryout players. Those names include 2012-13 Gladiators Brian Elser and Brad Nunn, Marietta native Scott Howe and defensemen Daniel Christensen and Dustin Hopfner.
The team begins on-ice sessions today at 10:30 a.m. at the Duluth IceForum. Camp runs through Oct. 16 and is open to the public free of charge.
2013-14 Gwinnett Gladiators training camp roster
Josh Currie (PHX)
Brian Elser (ATO)
Scott Howe (ATO)
Dan Christensen (ATO)
Dustin Hopfner (ATO)
Brad Nunn (ATO)
Justin Weller (PHX)
Louis Domingue (PHX)
Chris Rawlings (PHX)