The Quad City Mallards have signed forward Grant Arnold and have inked forward/defenseman Josh Elmes to a tryout agreement, the Mallards announced today.
Arnold, 25, captained the University of Denver each of the last two seasons. The 6’ 1”, 215-pound Centennial, Colorado, native was the first player in 62 years to serve as Pioneers captain in back-to-back campaigns.
“Grant has been a leader everywhere he’s gone,” said Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski. “He’s a hardworking, physical player with good size. Being a captain in juniors and at Denver shows the kind of leadership he brings. He can play against other team’s top lines and just has a great desire to win.”
Arnold scored five goals and notched nine assists to total 14 points as a senior last year. He recorded ten goals, 24 assists and 34 points in 153 career collegiate games.
Denver reached the NCAA tournament each of Arnold’s first three seasons. Arnold was co-winner of the 2014-15 Dr. Ralph Verploeg Award, which is presented to the Pioneers’ most inspirational player. As a sophomore in 2013-14, Arnold helped DU to the first ever National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular season title while also earning NCHC Academic All-Conference recognition.
Arnold bookended a three-year stint with the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers by helping the Gamblers to the USHL’s Kelly Cup title in 2010 and again in 2012. He produced 21 goals, 28 assists and 49 points in 138 career junior games.
Elmes, 22, last season played senior hockey in Saskatchewan for the Moosomin Rangers of the North Central Hockey League and helped propel the Rangers to the NCHL title. The 6’ 2”, 218-pound Brandon, Manitoba, product was named to the NCHL First All-Star Team after scoring a dozen goals and notching 14 assists for 26 points in 20 games.
“Josh is a big, strong kid who can play defense and forward,” said Ruskowski. “He’s someone who may have been overlooked but is worth giving a shot in training camp. We need someone who can protect our guys and he is anxious to come in and prove what he can do. He’s a quality kid who works hard and plays physical, which I like.”
In 2014-15, Elmes scored three times and added four assists in 28 games with the University of Manitoba. Elmes spent the 2013-14 campaign in the USHL, dividing his time between the Fargo Force and Dubuque Fighting Saints. He skated for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s OCN Blizzard for three seasons before moving south of the border.
The Mallards will open their twentieth season in the Quad Cities on Friday, October 14 at 7:05 p.m. against the Fort Wayne Komets at the iWireless Center. Mallards 2016-17 season tickets are now available. Season ticket holders enjoy significant savings of the walk-up ticket price and receive a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at 309-277-1364 or email@example.com.