FORT WAYNE, IN. – All aboard the Sol Train, Fort Wayne…it’s time to get Crunk again.
Two fan favorites are returning to don the Komets sweater this coming season. The Komets announced in a press release that defenseman Cody Sol and forward Taylor Crunk have been added to the 2018-19 preseason roster.
This will be Sol’s fifth season in Fort Wayne and seventh overall as a pro. The 27-year-old returns after something of a breakout season in 2017-18, setting career highs in goals (eight), assists (21), and points (29). His +30 led Fort Wayne for the fourth consecutive season. However, his reputation as a physical, imposing defender stayed intact as the 6’5, 242-pounder from Woodstock, Ontario racked up 119 penalty minutes.
Perhaps most importantly to both Komets fans and the team alike are his contributions off the ice.
“As Komet Defenseman of the Year last season it was imperative that we re-sign Cody,” Komets general manager David Franke said in a statement. “Cody is a fan-favorite and very active in the Fort Wayne community during the season. He is our emotional leader in the locker room and a key ingredient to our core group of players.”
Crunk returns for his third tour of duty in Fort Wayne. The 23-year-old grinder will be looking to pick up where he left off before being shut down for hip surgery after just 28 games. In 78 games with the Komets, Crunk has two goals, 13 assists, and 192 penalty minutes in 78 games.
“Taylor Crunk is successfully rehabbing his surgically repaired hip,” Franke said. “He will be ready for training camp on Oct. 1. Taylor provides the physical presence we need. He loves Fort Wayne as it has become his second home. We welcome both Cody and Taylor back to Komet land.”
In addition to the Sol and Crunk returns, the Komets also announced Monday that they extended qualifying offers to eight players: Marco Roy, Phelix Martineau, Gabriel Desjardins, Mason Baptista, Garrett Thompson, Shawn Szydlowski, and Curtis Leonard. All but Roy have announced intentions to play elsewhere this offseason.
So why protect them? To retain their exclusive rights should they want to return to the ECHL. For instance, the Laval Rocket of the AHL might send Martineau back to Fort Wayne if he doesn’t make the roster after signing an AHL contract there.
Players that weren’t extended qualifying offers include: Justin Hodgman, Dan Maggio, Dennis Kravchenko, Justin MacDonald, Bobby Shea, Garrett Bartus, and Cam Lanigan. The News-Sentinel reports the team had agreements with Maggio and Kravchenko to leave them unprotected.
As it stands now, Sol and Crunk join a Komets roster that currently includes: Jamie Schaafsma, Anthony Petruzzelli, Jason Binkley, Ryan Lowney and Kevin Gibson.
You can keep up on all the player movement around the ECHL by visiting our transactions page at https://thesinbin.net/2018-echl-transactions/.