FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Komets have added a forward with five years of experience in the American Hockey League to their roster for the upcoming season.
The team announced the signing of 26-year-old Garret Ross Wednesday. Ross will be entering his sixth season as a pro after spending three seasons with the Rockford IceHogs, then one each with the Tucson Roadrunners and Rochester Americans.
According to an ECHL press release, Ross posted a career year in 2014-15 scoring 21 goals and 22 assists, ranking second on Rockford in scoring. His career totals include 114 points and 397 penalty minutes in 288 AHL games.
The Komets also announced they have acquired the rights to forward Garrett Ladd from the Tulsa Oilers. The 29-year-old will be entering his fourth year as a pro and scored a career-best 21 goals and 25 assists in 46 games with Tulsa last season.
Ladd also appeared in eight games with Coventry of the Elite Ice Hockey League, scoring three goals and three assists.
While the Komets will look a lot different on the ice of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum next season, coach Gary Graham is expecting that to come with one bonus: more speed.
“I think it’s going to be a lot faster a team, based on what we’ve got assembled,” Graham told Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reporter Justin Cohn. “I think that’s going to be exciting. But chemistry will be the key… that will be a major question for us, for sure.”
Of the 23 players that ended the 2017-18 season with the team, the Komets will only have eight players returning from last season’s roster: Jamie Schaafsma, Cody Sol, Jason Binkley, Ryan Lowney, Marco Roy, Justin Hodgman, Anthony Petruzzelli and Taylor Crunk. With these latest signings, the team’s preseason roster expands to 25 and includes 16 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders.
Graham adds that the team’s recent announcement of an affiliation deal with the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League – and thus, the AHL’s Chicago Wolves as well – should lead to good things. Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant is a former Komets assistant coach, and Graham has a good relationship with Wolves general manager Wendell Young, so he believes both teams will coexist well when it comes to player exchanges and call-ups.