Gulls Sign Brent Gates Jr. and Steven Ruggiero to ATOsMar 22, 2019
The Gulls have signed center Brent Gates Jr. and defenseman Steven Ruggiero to amateur tryout agreements (ATO).
Gates Jr., 21 (8/12/97), completed his senior season at the University of Minnesota (Big Ten) in 2018-19, scoring 13-18=31 in 38 games with a +1 rating and four penalty minutes (PIM). Gates Jr. set new career highs in points, assists and power-play goals (8), while he also served as team captain. Selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the third round (80th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, the 6-2, 198-pound forward scored 42-43=85 points with a +14 rating and 61 PIM in four seasons at Minnesota (2015-19), playing all the final 94 consecutive games to end his NCAA career.
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Gates Jr. was Minnesota's 2018-19 recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award and named to the All-Academic Big Ten team in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He also played two seasons with Green Bay (USHL) from 2013-15, earning 21-21=42 points in 83 games. His father, Brent Gates Sr., played seven Major League Baseball seasons with Oakland, Seattle and Minnesota.
Ruggiero, 22 (1/1/97), recorded a career high 6-5=11 points with a +8 rating and 72 PIM in 37 games during his senior season at Lake Superior State of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The 6-3, 220-pound defenseman collected 6-8=14 points with a +13 rating and 111 PIM in 70 NCAA games with Lake Superior State (2017-19) and Providence College of Hockey East from 2015-17.
Selected by Anaheim in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Ruggiero helped Team USA to a gold medal at the U-18 World Junior Championship in 2015.