1. Home
  2. News
  3. ‘Blades secure pair of defensemen to boost backend for 2019-20

‘Blades secure pair of defensemen to boost backend for 2019-20

Tuesday, September 10th
‘Blades secure pair of defensemen to boost backend for 2019-20

ESTERO, Fla. — Florida Everblades General Manager Craig Brush, along with head coach Brad Ralph, announced on Tuesday that the team has agreed to terms with defensemen Jacob Graves and Aaron Harstad for the 2019-20 season.

With the addition of Graves and Harstad, who each bring more than 100 games of professional experience, Florida now has six defensemen for the upcoming campaign.

Graves, 24, enters his fourth season as a pro and comes to the ‘Blades after splitting last season between the Norfolk Admirals and Reading Royals. The Barrie, Ontario, native played 45 games total in the ECHL in 2018-19, suiting up in 32 for the Admirals and 13 for the Royals. He finished with four goals, five assists and 84 penalty minutes.

“Jacob is a competitor, he works extremely hard and he’s difficult to play against,” Ralph said. “He’ll add to our size and toughness, and he’s another great high character teammate that we’ll rely on for big minutes.”

Graves, who has played in 78 career ECHL games and 42 career AHL contests, boasts a pair of championships on his resume. Both of those titles came with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights in the 2015-16 season, his final campaign before turning pro. After starting that season with the Oshawa Generals, Graves was then acquired by London and helped lead the Knights to an OHL Championship and Memorial Cup. He played in 281 career OHL contests over five seasons and racked up three goals and 42 points.

Harstad, 27, joins the ‘Blades after spending the 2018-19 season in Denmark with the Aalborg Pirates. The Stevens Point, Wisconsin, native posted 10 points (1g-9a) in 37 games with the Pirates and logged a plus-minus rating of +16.

“Aaron is a big, strong, mobile defender,” Ralph said. “He’ll bring experience and motivation to our group. He is excited to be a part of the Everblades community and family.”

Prior to the season in Europe, Harstad played three full seasons in the AHL and ECHL from 2015-18, logging ice time in 28 AHL contests and 115 ECHL tilts. His best season in that span was the 2016-17 campaign, one that saw him notch 25 points (5g-20a) in 53 ECHL games.

Harstad, who stands at 6 feet 2 inches and weighs 198 pounds, also owns a junior hockey championship. He helped guide the Green Bay Gamblers to the Clark Cup in his first full season in the USHL in 2009-10.  Harstad recorded 29 points (9g-20a) in 108 career games with the Gamblers and went on to post 30 career points (9g-21a) in 127 career games at Colorado College from 2011-15.

Opening Night presented by Hertz is Saturday, Oct. 19, when the Everblades host the Norfolk Admirals at Hertz Arena. 

2019-20 Blades 365 Memberships are on sale now!

Get great seat locations, big savings and exclusive year-round experiences with a full season, 24-game or 12-game Blades 365 Membership!

SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new Blades 365 Membership for the 2019-20 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford’s Garage and an Everblades tote bag!

To view the Blades 365 Membership savings, benefits and options CLICK HERE.

Private tours of Hertz Arena are available to select your season seats! Call the Florida Everblades Front Office at 239-948-7825 to schedule your tour today!

The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and AHL's Milwaukee Admirals

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Star Wars Night
Friday, February 23rd
Star Wars Night
Puck Drops:
7:30 PM EST
Hertz Arena
Worcester Railers
WOR Worcester Railers
at
Florida Everblades
FLA Florida Everblades
Hertz Arena
First Responders Night
Saturday, February 24th
First Responders Night
Puck Drops:
7:00 PM EST
Hertz Arena
Worcester Railers
WOR Worcester Railers
at
Florida Everblades
FLA Florida Everblades
Hertz Arena
Jacksonville Icemen @ Florida Everblades
Wednesday, March 6th
Jacksonville Icemen @ Florida Everblades
Puck Drops:
7:30 PM EST
Hertz Arena
Jacksonville Icemen
JAX Jacksonville Icemen
at
Florida Everblades
FLA Florida Everblades
Hertz Arena

Latest News

More News
Everblades Derail Worcester 3-1
Everblades Derail Worcester 3-1
Florida Everblades Announce 2024 Kelly Cup Playoff Ticket Packages and Pricing
Florida Everblades Announce 2024 Kelly Cup Playoff Ticket Packages and Pricing
The Florida Everblades Release Their 2024-25 Blades 365 Membership Information
The Florida Everblades Release Their 2024-25 Blades 365 Membership Information

Get Hockey Updates

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!