INDIANAPOLIS – Another few weeks have gone by and the Indy Fuel continue to impress with their off-season roster. The end of the season was not a great one for the Fuel, however, the same trend comes back with their off-season. The front office builds a playoff bound team but for some reason, it doesn’t last and the team goes into a losing slump. I’m not sure that will be the case this season.
Last week, the Fuel signed three more players to the roster, bringing familiarity, veteran leadership and defensive depth to the lineup. Garrett Clarke will bring veteran leadership to the Fuel roster while making his return to North America after a brief stint overseas. Travis Armstrong and Michael Neal will both return for a second season with the Fuel.
Clarke comes to Indy after spending time overseas playing for ASC Corona Brasov in Romania and a brief time in the ECHL with the Brampton Beast. In 20 games with the Beast, the veteran defenseman earned five points (two goals, three assists) and 40 penalty minutes. In 96 ECHL games, Clarke has tallied eight goals, 17 assists and 322 penalty minutes.
Armstrong makes his return to Indy after playing the second half of the season after a trade from the Idaho Steelheads. In 16 games with the Fuel, Armstrong tallied one goal and three assists. After starting his season in the SPHL with the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, Armstrong spent time with four ECHL teams before landing in Indy. Bringing back Armstrong brings a sense of familiarity to the Indy roster as well as a consistent defensive-defenseman.
Fan favorite Michael Neal and his illustrious hair will make a return to Indianapolis after playing 21 games in a Fuel uniform, tallying a little over a point per game with 11 goals and 12 assists. Neal has over 400 ECHL games under his belt, qualifying him as a veteran player as well as leaving one veteran spot open on the Fuel roster.
Adding Clarke, Armstrong and Neal brings consistency to the Fuel lineup as well as a strong veteran presence. Indy continues to build a strong, consistent and end-to-end roster to compete for a playoff spot in the Central Division.
Fuel 2017-18 Roster-to-Date:
- Nick Bligh (6’0, 185) Age: 24 Shoots: R
- Matt Rupert (5’8, 175) Age: 23 Shoots: L
- Ryan Rupert (5’8, 173) Age: 23 Shoots: L
- Andrew Schmit (6’5, 220) Age: 25 Shoots: R
- Matt Johnson (6’1, 209) Age: 26 Shoots: L
- Cam Reid (6’2, 187) Age: 25 Shoots L
- Connor Reilly (6’0, 180) Age: 2. Shoots: L
- Geoff Walker (6’3, 225) Age: 29 Shoots: R
- Michael Neal (6’3, 220) Age: 28 Shoots: L
- Chris Williams (6’2, 220) Age: 26 Shoots: R
- Anthony Cortese (5’10, 180) Age: 23 Shoots: R
- Nolan Descoteaux (6’1, 205) Age: 27 Shoots: L
- Travis Armstrong (6’5, 215) Age: 27 Shoots: L
- Garrett Clarke (6’1, 205) Age: 24 Shoots: L
Likely Rockford Loans
- Tommy Olczyk, Forward, (5’10, 190) Age: 26 Shoots: L
- Matt Tomkins, Goaltender, (6’3, 194) Age: 23 Catches: L
- Collin Delia, Goaltender, (6’2, 200) Age: 23 Catches: L
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