KELOWNA, CANADA - APRIL 30: Reid Gardiner #23 of the Kelowna Rockets skates against the Seattle Thunderbirds on April 30, 2017 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze) *** Local Caption ***
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forward Reid Gardiner to an American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season.
“I’m excited for this next step and to be able to play in the AHL again,” explained Gardiner. “I feel like I’m ready to play pro hockey again and especially with it being in Wilkes-Barre…. I’m very excited for what’s to come.”
Though it was short, Gardiner says he enjoyed his time in Kelowna.
“Kelowna prepared me a lot. Learning from new coaches and new guys, being able to play deep into the playoffs, and just soaking everything in,” said Gardiner. “Seeing how Kelowna operated was very cool, and it was cool to be a part of. I feel like I improved greatly from my time in Kelowna and they’ve helped me take this next step.”
Gardiner already spent a short time in the AHL, as the first half of last season he played with the WBS Penguins, recording three goals and three assists for six points in 23 games.
Gardiner played in 28 games for the Rockets this season after being acquired at the trade deadline from the Prince Albert Raiders. In his 28 game stint  he amassed 18 goals and 19 assists for 37 points. The overage forward carried the Rockets offense for much of the post season as well, as he recorded 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points to finish third in league scoring in the WHL Playoffs, despite being eliminated in the Conference Championships.