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Jackals welcome three more for upcoming season

The Elmira Jackals announced on Tuesday that they have signed forwards Mike Radja and Dustin Gazley along with defenseman Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel to standard player contracts for the upcoming 2011-2012 season.

Click here for video of Jackals head coach Pat Bingham discussing the three additions.

Radja, a 6-foot, 180-pound versatile forward returns to North America for his fourth professional season after skating with Germany's Augsburg Panther in 2010-2011. With Augsburg, Radja contributed 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points.

A native of Yorkville, Ill., Radja has been productive at both the ECHL and AHL levels. After starting 2009-2010 with Finland's Turun Palloseura, Radja journeyed back to the United States and recorded 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in 48 games combined with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch and Bridgeport Sound Tigers, skating under Bingham with the latter.

In his rookie season of 2008-2009, Radja scored seven goals and added six assists for 13 points to start the season with the ECHL's Fresno Falcons before earning a call-up to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs for the remainder of the season. Radja totaled 23 points (11g-12a) in 53 games with Rockford. He began his professional career at the end of the 2007-2008 season with the Crunch, tallying three assists in two games.

Radja was a standout amateur at the University of New Hampshire (NCAA, D-I) from 2004-2008, leading the Wildcats with 19 goals in his senior year of 2007-2008 on a team that included current NHLers James van Riemsdyk and Bobby Butler. In his four seasons at UNH, Radja accumulated 54 goals and 63 assists for 117 points. He won the USHL's Clark Cup as a member of the 2003-2004 Waterloo Blackhawks.

"Mike is a talented, versatile forward who is both a scorer and a playmaker," Bingham said. "He's good on both sides of the puck and we're going to build a lot of our offense around him."

Gazley enters his first full professional campaign after playing the last four seasons at Michigan State University (NCAA, D-I). The 5'9", 165-pound wing missed just three games in his collegiate career.

In 2010-2011, Gazley received the Spartans' Outstanding Senior Award after tying for second on the team with 11 goals and checking in third with 15 assists for 26 points. The Novi, Mich. native skated two games near the end of last season with the Greenville Road Warriors after completing his amateur eligibility. Gazley was fourth on the Spartans with nine goals and sixth with 12 assists and 21 points in his junior year of 2009-2010. He registered 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points in his first two seasons combined at Michigan State.

Gazley led the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers with 29 goals and was third with 58 points in 2006-2007, while totaling 16 goals and 14 assists for 30 points with the club in 2005-2006.

"Dustin has a great work ethic and proved he can score while at Michigan State," Bingham said. "He's difficult to play against and is willing to do whatever it takes to contribute offensively."

Dieude-Fauvel (pronounced DEE-u-day FAW-vuhl), a hard-hitting blue liner from Bordeaux, France, spent the last two seasons with the CHL's Laredo Bucks. In 2010-2011, the 6'2", 185-pound Dieude-Fauvel collected 23 points (6g-17a) while adding 60 penalty minutes. Dieude-Fauvel was named the third-best body checker by his CHL peers in the league's annual "Best of the Best" poll after his first season in Laredo in 2009-2010, a year in which he led his team's defensemen with 101 penalty minutes while contributing nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points.

Prior to coming to the U.S., Dieude-Fauvel skated five seasons professionally in France from 2004-2009, playing in 129 games.

"Benjamin is a good open-ice hitter who makes his presence felt whenever he is on the ice. His style of play will fit well into the kind of team we want to be this season," Bingham said.

Follow JackalsHockey.com for the latest updates about the Jackals this offseason and become a fan of the Jackals on Facebook at Facebook.com/ElmiraJackals.

JACKALS HOCKEY: GET JACKED!

UPCOMING FIRST ARENA EVENTS

TWIN TIERS TEEN NIGHT CRAZE
Saturday, September 24th
6:00 - 10:00 p.m.

PRESEASON HOCKEY
Blue vs. White Intrasquad Game
Thursday, October 6
7:00 p.m.

Elmira vs. Reading
Saturday, October 8
7:35 p.m.

SIXTH ANNUAL GOLF WITH THE JACKALS
Sunday, October 9

2011-2012 HOME OPENER
Elmira vs. Trenton
Friday, October 14
7:35 p.m.

Elmira vs. Trenton
Saturday, October 15
7:35 p.m.

Elmira vs. Florida
Friday, October 21
7:35 p.m.

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