The Indy Fuel, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, signed fifth-year pro forward Dylan Clarke and rookie defenseman Patrick Koudys to contracts for the 2015-16 ECHL season, the team announced Monday. In 69 ECHL appearances for the Rapid City Rush last season, Clarke tallied 16 goals, 45 points and 104 penalty minutes and served as one of Rapid City’s assistant captains while Koudys notched one goal, eight points and 35 penalty minutes in 36 NCAA appearances in his senior season at Penn State, during which Koudys served as team captain.
“Dylan has a proven ability to score goals,” explained Fuel Head Coach and EVP of Hockey Operations Scott Hillman on Monday. “He also adds grit and physicality to our lineup…Players like Dylan are not easy to play against and his presence in our lineup makes us a tougher team to beat.”
A 6’2”, 174 lb. left-handed native of Belleville, Ontario, Clarke has 48 goals, 114 points and 186 penalty minutes to his credit in 174 career ECHL games played for Rapid City, the Evansville IceMen and the South Carolina Stingrays in three seasons from 2012-13 to 2014-15. In his first professional campaign, Clarke registered 29 goals, 64 points and 49 penalty minutes in 66 CHL appearances for the Tulsa Oilers during the 2010-11 season. Prior to his professional career, Clarke spent four NCAA DIII seasons at SUNY-Plattsburgh in New York State from 2007-08 to 2010-11, serving as team captain during his senior season. In 114 career games played for the Cardinals, Clarke, 29, posted 67 career goals and 139 combined points, along with 54 total penalty minutes.
“I’ve heard nothing but good things about the city, the team and the organization,” said Clarke on Monday. “I have experience in [the ECHL’s Midwest Division] in prior years, so it’s a location I’m familiar with, which will help with settling in.” Clarke also says he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help the Fuel win. “The only goal I have in mind this year is helping the Fuel in any way, shape or form to earn a playoff spot…I can play in any situation and am an offensive threat that will stand up for my teammates at any time. I’ll do what I can to win.”
A fifth round selection (147th overall) by the Washington Capitals in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and a Hamilton, Ontario native, Koudys, 22, collected three goals, 16 points and 61 penalty minutes in two seasons at Penn State from 2013-15 following one season of USHL play for the Muskegon Lumberjacks in 2012-13 in which the 6’3”, 209 lb. left-handed blue-liner posted one goal, 15 points and 95 penalty minutes.
In two NCAA seasons at RPI from 2010-11 to 2011-12, Koudys netted two goals, five points and 36 penalty minutes in 58 combined appearances. Koudys’ father, Jim, played in Indianapolis in the mid-1980’s, accumulating 56 IHL appearances for the Indianapolis Checkers in the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.
“We’re anxious to have Patrick compete at out training camp,” said Hillman. “He’s a big-bodied defenseman that uses his reach and positioning well and should have the ability to transition into a very solid professional player.”