INDIANAPOLIS – Coming off of their best season in franchise history, the Indy Fuel are looking to keep the upward trend going into the 2018-19 season. Indy signed a few new faces to help the offensive game including Olivier Labelle and Kevin Dufour, as well as re-signed Josh Shalla and the Rupert twins. Along with a strong offensive side, the Fuel will likely receive several players from the Rockford IceHogs, making for a deep squad heading into the season.
Nuts and Bolts:
Record: 36-30-5-1 (72 points)
Division/Conference Finish: 4th in Central, 6th in West
Playoff Finish: Swept in first round by Toledo
Record vs. Division: 29-21-3-1
Record vs. Conference: 33-25-4-1
Goals For Per Game: 3.36 — 9th in ECHL
Goals Against Per Game: 3.44 — 21st in ECHL
Power Play: 61/267, 1st in ECHL
Penalty Kill: 239/289, 19th in ECHL
- Who will start in goal for the Fuel. Will it be a Rockford goaltender or new signing Jason Pawloski?
- Roster turnover
- How much of the roster is dictated by the IceHogs. The Blackhawks could end up sending several players to Indy or Rockford, creating a trickle-down effect to Indy
- Offensive depth?
- With the signings that Indy made this offseason, the Fuel will have plenty of offensive depth. Will they be able to outscore opponents to make up for their struggles on defense?
- Radovan Bondra
- Olivier Labelle
- Logan Nelson
Gone but Not Forgotten:
- Michael Neal (Retired)
- Etienne Marcoux (Signed with Laval Rocket)
- Darian Dziurzynski (Signed with Kansas City)
Sin Bin Swami Sez:
Indy will have a strong offensive side this season. They have plenty of offensive depth with Shalla, Labelle, Rupert twins and Logan Nelson. Rockford will certainly throw some reinforcements their way once Chicago builds their regular season lineup. With those reinforcements, the offensive side of the bench shouldn’t be an issue.
On the other side, the defense could be a bit of a problem. The depth isn’t quite there but that could change depending on who Chicago and Rockford send their way. The goaltending shouldn’t be an issue with Matt Tomkins being sent down. He was a rock for Indy last season and should keep his production this season.
Personally, I think that Indy has one of the better teams they’ve ever had. I think they make the playoffs, no problem. Where they go from there is yet to be seen.