Gladiators add some experience, youth

DULUTH — The Gwinnett Gladiators, three weeks away from training camp, added experienced defenseman Stefan Schneider and rookie forward Philippe Halley to the roster today.

Schneider, 23, has appeared in 127 total AHL games over the past three seasons with the Chicago Wolves and two teams that have since relocated — the Manitoba Moose and the Peoria Rivermen.

Last season the Vernon, B.C., native scored twice and added five assists in 32 games with the Wolves, while also skating in two games with the Rivermen and eight with the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings.

Schneider joined the professional ranks in March of 2010 when the Vancouver Canucks offered him a three-year entry level contract after an impressive stint in the Western Hockey League.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound blueliner showed offensive flashes with the Portland Winterhawks in 2009 and 2010. He followed up his 11-goal first season with a 12-goal, 11-assist second season. In 2010, Schneider was also among the leaders on defense during the Winterhawks’ playoff run with three goals and two assists in just 10 games.

“He’s at this level to polish up what he’s capable of offensively,” Gladiators head coach Rick Emmett said. “He should be a physical force. He gets around the ice really well.”

Halley is a big offensive threat coming out of the major junior ranks. The 21-year-old Quebec City native was among the top scorers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the past three seasons.

In his sophomore season with the Gatineau Olympiques, Halley had 27 goals and 48 points in 67 regular-season games. He added to that in the playoffs with 17 points in 24 games as the Olympiques finished second to Saint John for the league championship.

In the summer of 2011, Halley was traded to the Victoriaville Tigres, where he shot to the top of the QMJHL scoring table. Halley had back-to-back 40 goal seasons with nearly 80 points in under 70 games both years.

Halley leaves the QMJHL with career marks of 116 goals, 100 assists, 130 penalty minutes and a +67 plus-minus rating in 229 career games. In the 47 playoff games, Halley scored 14 times, had 19 assists and a +22 plus-minus rating.

He joins forwards Joey Haddad, Evan Bloodoff, Dirk Southern, Jeremie Malouin, Kurtis Bartliff, Alex Hutchings and C.J. Lee on Gwinnett’s roster. Schneider adds to the Gladiators defensive corps of Martin Lefebvre, Devon Krogh and Jonathan Narbonne.

Five of those players are at AHL camps — Malouin (Lake Erie), Bartliff (Utica), Bloodoff/Hutchings (Rochester) and Halley (Portland).