The Atlanta Gladiators have signed defenseman Zach Malatesta on Thursday. Regarded as a reliable blueliner, Malatesta had a very respectable Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in 2016-17.
In 33 games with the Titan, Malatesta had eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points. However the statistic that was the most impressive was his plus/minus as he was a +27. Malatesta started the season with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL and had three goals and five assists for eight points in 25 games and was a -2.
Malatesta was traded in a blockbuster deal on Dec. 18, 2016. He was traded from Moncton to Acadie-Bathurst with defenseman Adam Holwell for five draft picks and defenseman Francis Thibeault. In 58 games in the QMJHL last season, Malatesta had 11 goals and 25 assists for 36 points with 73 penalty minutes and was a +25.
Prior to 2016-17, Malatesta played two seasons with the Wildcats. In 2014-15, he had eight goals and 21 assists for 29 points and in 2015-16, he had six goals and 21 assists for 27 points.
At 21 years of age, it will be interesting to see where Malatesta fits in during his first year with the Gladiators. For Gladiators ticket information, please click here.