FORT WAYNE, IN – The Fort Wayne Komets will begin a new NHL/AHL affiliation this season, as they will be apart of the Arizona Coyotes’ system and work closely with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners as the Komets look to continue being a perennial contender in the Western Conference.

About

Head Coach: Gary Graham – Fifth season as Komets head coach. He has an overall record of 169-84-35 overall as a head coach.

Captain: Jamie Schaafsma – 14-year pro, third with the Komets. In 2015-16, he had 25 goals, 14 assists for 39 points. In 2016-17, he had 17 goals, 45 assists for 62 points

Last Season: Regular season record: 45-19-8 for 98 points, finished fourth in Western Conference and second in Central Division, lost in five games to the Toledo Walleye in the Central Division Finals.

2016-17 Season Summary – Not a bad season for the Komets; while losing in the Division Finals, the team still showed what they are capable of when they play consistently.

Insights

The loss of goalie Pat Nagle was a major storyline for the Komets, but, the team did get younger in net this offseason. With Nagle gone, Michael Houser joins the fray after a very solid 2016-17 campaign in Cincinnati, going 22-14-2-1 with 2.58 goals against average and a .919 save percentage in 41 games. With Bobby Shea coming back along with Cody Sol, Jason Binkley, and Ryan Lowney, their defense should be a tough one to play against this year. Komets went without an affiliation last year but this year, they are affiliated with the Arizona Coyotes and Tucson Roadrunners.

Following

  • Shawn Szydlowski
  • Garrett Bartus
  • Cody Sol
  • Mason Baptista
  • Michael Houser – Goalie, assigned from AHL Tucson Roadrunners, six-year pro, spent last season with the Cincinnati Cyclones: 22-14-1 record with a 2.50 goals against average in 41 games
  • Ben Boudreau- in addition to player/assistant coach Schaafsma, Graham will have Boudreau behind the bench. Had a three-year pro career before becoming an assistant coach in the ECHL starting in 2014 with the Bakersfield Condors.

Movin’ On Up

  • Shawn Szydlowski
  • Garrett Bartus

Blocked and Reported

  • Mike Embach – playing in Europe with the Braehead Clan
  • Pat Nagle – Toledo Walleye
  • Mike Cazzola – playing in Europe with the Edinburgh Capitals

@SinBinSwami Says…

If the team can keep it consistent and quit falling apart when the opposing team starts really putting the pressure on, they can make it to the Kelly Cup Finals. The defense needs to really step it up and help out. I feel this team will make it to playoffs and be among the top two teams in the Western Conference. I believe they have what it takes to finish first or second this year if they can keep the momentum going.

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