Austin forward Gabor signs professional contract
July 7, 2016
By Michael Keeley, Austin Bruins
The Austin Bruins of the NAHL are pleased to learn that 2015-16 assistant captain Gilbert Gabor has signed a contract with Olimpija Ljubljana of the EBEL, an Austrian professional league team that plays in Slovenia.
Gabor, 20 years old, was the Bruins leading scorer this past season, scoring 21 goals and adding 37 assists in his final year of Junior eligibility. Gabor had two goals and four assists in six postseason games before injuring his leg in game four of the Central Division Semifinals against Minot and missing the remainder of the playoffs.
The EBEL is an twelve team league made up of eight Austrian clubs, plus one each from Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Gabor’s new club in Slovenia.
“Pro hockey is something I always been working towards,” Gabor said. “You play against men and it’s another step up from playing Juniors. As a player you want to develop all the time and this choice felt natural for me and as a good option.”
Gabor played two years with the Owen Sound Attack in the Ontario Hockey League, Canada’s top Junior league prior to coming to the Bruins this past season. He was an immediate force in the NAHL upon joining the B’s, assisting on the first goal of the season and scoring the first home goal. His leadership on and off the ice became a large part of Austin’s run to its fifth consecutive Divisional Finals series.
“Last year with the Bruins helped me a lot where I developed all the aspects in my game,” he said. “I got more experience and went through a lot of new things, bad – my injury – and good.”
Gabor, who is from Stockholm, Sweden, is also looking forward to playing back in his home continent.
“Being in Europe makes it much easier with the travel and seeing family. It’s a really short driving distance to family in Slovakia and Austria.”
Gilbert still has long term aspirations to play professionally in the United States someday, but for his American home in a small town in Southeast Minnesota will always be just that - a home.
“When I look back at it I’m always going to remember it as one of the greatest years in my career on and off the ice,” Gabor said. “All thanks to the people around me.”