FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Komets added four more players to their preseason roster Wednesday, including two returning forwards.
According to a team press release, forwards Marco Roy and Justin Hodgman will return to the Komets’ lineup for the 2018-19 ECHL season, while brothers Alexander Kuqali and Nicholas Kuqali have also been signed.
It’ll be Roy’s second season with the Komets after the 23-year-old posted 17 goals, 31 assists (48 points) in 45 games last year. He also played 13 games in the American Hockey League, split between the San Jose Barracuda and Utica Comets. Roy has 19 goals, 36 assists, and 55 points in 60 career ECHL games, making his pro debut in the 2015-16 season with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals and AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
Hodgman, 30, helped the Komets win three straight IHL championships in 2009, 2009 and 2010. His career has included stints in the AHL for the Portland Pirates and Toronto Marlies, as well as five games in the National Hockey League during the 2014-15 season with the Arizona Coyotes. Hodgman returned to Fort Wayne last year, scoring nine goals and 25 points in 30 games. He has a total of 34 goals, 49 assists, and 83 points in 84 Fort Wayne career games, including playoffs.
Nicholas Kuqali, 33, will be joining the Komets camp as a defenseman for his second time after appearing in six games in the 2015-16 season. From 2010 through 2016, he had stints in the FHL, SPHL, CHL, ECHL, and most recently helped DVTK win the Erste Liga Continental Cup in 2017. Last season, he scored four goals and 14 points in 40 games with Vienna.
His younger brother, Alexander, 27, is also a defenseman who was part of a three-time NCAA (AHA) championship team at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2014, 2015, and 2016. He spent the 2016-17 campaign with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and Quad City Mallards, skating in 55 games last season with the Mallards, scoring five goals, 16 assists, and 21 points.
The Komets preseason roster now sits at 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders.
In other news, it is looking increasingly likely the Vegas Golden Knights will be the new affiliate of the Komets. General Manager David Franke told Justin Cohn of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:
“It’s definitely headed in the right direction and we continue to work with them. I really think something is going to really happen. I’m very positive about that, more positive than I’ve been, but we’re just working through some stuff and that’s about it right now.”
It’s possible the new player development pact could be announced next week.
The Komets season opener is set for October 12 in Indianapolis against the Fuel, while the home opener is scheduled for October 20 against the Kalamazoo Wings.