The Elmira Jackals, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and AHL's Rochester Americans, announced today that the club has signed rookie forwards Blake Hietala and Daniel Gentzler to Standard Player Contracts.
Hietala, 26, joins the Jackals from the Louisiana IceGators of the SPHL. Hietala posted 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 23 games for the IceGators this season tying him for second on the team. The Houghton, Mich. native appeared in two contests for the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL following the conclusion of his collegiate career at Michigan Tech. While in school, Hietala spent his redshirt freshman year under current Jackals head coach Jamie Russell. In 81 career NCAA games, Hietala posted 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) and 50 penalty minutes.
Gentzler, 25, comes to Elmira from the Macon Mayhem of the SPHL. Gentzler recorded 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 24 games with Macon this season, tying him for first on the team in goals and ranking second in points. Prior to turning pro, the Manhattan Beach, Calif. native attended Colgate University where he was a teammate of current Jackals defenseman Spiro Goulakos. In 110 NCAA contests, Gentzler posted 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) and 80 penalty minutes.
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