PORTLAND, ME – December 30, 2021 – The Mariners and Indy Fuel completed a trade on Thursday, swapping defensemen. Blue liner Zach Malatesta is headed to Maine in exchange for Brycen Martin. The Fuel acquired Malatesta from the Worcester Railers, completing a future considerations deal.
Malatesta, a Boston area native, is in his fifth pro season. From 2017-2020, he played for the Atlanta Gladiators, where he became one of the premier offensive defensemen in the ECHL. During the 2019-20 season, Malatesta scored 14 goals, the second highest total for all ECHL defensemen. Prior to the 2020-21 season, he signed with the South Carolina Stingrays, where he would become their top-scoring defenseman as well, posting 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists) in 51 games.
Last season, Malatesta also got his first taste of the American Hockey League, playing in four games for the Hershey Bears. He registered one assist.
The 25-year-old signed with Worcester this past summer. He has appeared in 21 games for the Railers, with two goals and four assists. Both of his goals have come against the Mariners.
Brycen Martin will join his sixth ECHL team. The 25-year-old defenseman was in his second stint with the Mariners after re-signing in the offseason. In 17 games, Martin has no goals and nine assists.
In addition to Malatesta, the Mariners also receive a future consideration from the Fuel.