Mallards sign trio of blueliners

MOLINE, Ill. – The Quad City Mallards have re-signed defenseman Kevin Gibson and have also signed defensemen Donnie Harris and Andrew Panzarella – who were acquired in trades earlier this month.

Gibson, 26, scored once and added eight assists while recording a plus/minus rating of +1 in 50 games as a rookie last season. Gibson was named to the 2014-15 Division III All-American first team and was voted Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year after leading defensemen nationwide in points (32) as a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The Grosse Pointe, Mich. native scored eight goals and collected 24 assists in 31 games during his final collegiate campaign. Gibson played three games for the Tulsa Oilers at the end of the 2014-15 season.

The Mallards received Harris, 25, from the Wichita Thunder to complete the trade that sent forward Miles Koules to Wichita. The product of Fort Ashby, W.Va. scored four goals and added six assists for ten points in 61 games with the Thunder last season. Harris spent the bulk of the prior three seasons with the Evansville IceMen. He broke into the professional ranks with the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League in 2011-12 while also suiting up for a pair of ECHL games with the Elmira Jackals. Harris returned to Pensacola from the ECHL for stints with the Ice Pilots each of the following two campaigns. Before turning pro, Harris played two seasons with the Bonneyville Pontiacs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League from 2009 to 2011 after splitting his first junior season between the North American Hockey League’s Bismarck Bobcats and the United States Hockey League’s Omaha Lancers.

The 26-year old Panzerella’s arrival from the Idaho Steelheads completed the deal that sent the rights to forward Kellan Lain to Idaho. The Washington, D.C. native scored once and registered seven assists in 35 games with the Steelheads last season. Panzarella got his first taste of pro hockey when he played two games for the American Hockey League’s St. John’s IceCaps at the end of the 2014-15 season. Panzarella turned pro after four seasons at the University of North Dakota, where he scored twice and pocketed eight assists for ten points in 77 career collegiate games. UND qualified for the NCAA tournament each of Panzarella’s four seasons in Grand Forks and reached the Frozen Four in both his junior and senior years.