Utah Grizzlies head coach and General Manager Tim Branham announced Monday that the team re-signed defenseman Mike Folkes for the 2014-2015 season. He becomes the first player announced by the Grizzlies for 2014-2015 season.

“Mike is a character player and person,” Branham said. “His work ethic and determination is exactly what I look for when recruiting. He will play a major role this season shutting down and making life difficult for the opponent.”

Folkes enters his second season as a pro after playing 44 games and totaling one goal and three assists for four points, a plus-two and 78 penalty minutes last year. He fought six times for Utah during his rookie season.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to come back to Utah and play for the Grizzlies,” Folkes said. “It's a great organization led by a great coach in Tim Branham. I am looking forward to the upcoming season and getting back on the ice in front of the league’s best fans.”

Folkes played collegiately at Ohio State University where he was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten choice. He also played two seasons at Carleton University.

The Grizzlies open the 2014-2015 regular season at Maverik Center against the Idaho Steelheads on Friday, October 17 at 7 p.m.

Ticket packages for the 2014-2015 season are on sale now and start at $29. Call (801) 988-8800 or visit the Utah Grizzlies website for more information.