The Gladiators are the ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.
Malatesta, 21, skated in 36 games and accumulated 11 points (1-10a) in his first year pro for the Gladiators last season before a lower-body injury ended his rookie campaign. At the time of his injury, the hard-hitting defenseman led the Gladiators rookie defenders in points and ranked third overall amongst the team’s blue liners.
Prior to the start of his professional career, the Boston native played three full seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 191 games for the Moncton Wildcats and Acadie-Bathurst Titan, he totaled 92 points (25g-67a) and a +18 rating.
Stander, 23, joined Atlanta near the end of the regular season last year after completing a four-year stint with Canisius College. He earned two assists in six regular-season games for the Gladiators and appeared in two of the team’s four playoff contests. Over the course of four collegiate seasons with the Golden Griffins, the Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan native registered 29 points (6g-23a) in 137 games and served as the team’s alternate captain during his senior campaign.