FORT WAYNE, Ind. – It’s been a mostly quiet offseason with the Fort Wayne Komets, perhaps uncomfortably so with their NHL/AHL affiliation future up in the air.
However, the team announced six new additions to their preseason roster this week. Forwards Danny Moynihan, Joseph Widmar, Charley Graaskamp, Brandon Morley, and Chase Phelps have signed, along with netminder Kyle Hayton.
Moynihan joins the Komets from Kalamazoo, where he spent the 2017-18 campaign putting in 14 goals and 27 assists for 41 points in 49 games with the Wings. The 22-year-old native of Boston, Mass. also played 11 games with the AHL’s Utica Comets (no relation) the prior season, registering no points. After four years in the QMJHL, Moynihan spent all 2016-17 with the now-defunct Alaska Aces, tallying 22 goals and 30 assists for 52 points in 71 games.
As shown in the video below, Moynihan shows off his speed and soft hands in a game during his final season with Shawinigan in the QMJHL.
Widmar returns to the Komets after an 11-game stint this past year. The 23-year-old Northbrook, Ill. native registered three assists in Fort Wayne before being traded to Greenville in December. He only played nine more games with the Swamp Rabbits. He finished the 2017-18 season with the Peoria Rivermen of the SPHL, scoring 11 goals and adding 29 helpers in 36 games played.
Prior to last season, Widmar spent two years at UMass-Amherst and played three years in the USHL before that, splitting time between the Chicago Steel, Indiana Ice, and Des Moines Buccaneers.
Graaskamp made his professional debut this past year with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. The 22-year-old from Eau Claire, Wisc. tallied four goals and 10 assists in 25 games at Utah. Prior to that, he split four years in the QMJHL with the Quebec Ramparts, Drummondville Voltigeurs, and Val d’Or Foreurs.
Five years ago, Graaskamp found himself with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL.
New to the ECHL is Morley. The 24-year-old grew up in Burnaby, B.C., Canada and has spent the last four years at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Last season, he scored two goals and dished out 10 assists for 12 points in 34 games, his highest career output to date and good enough to earn his team’s Player of the Year award. He also is a two-time WCHA All-Academic Team member.
During his time with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL in 2010, he also made some teddy bears fly!
The 22-year-old Phelps is also making his pro debut this coming season. The Edina, Minn. native spent the past four seasons with Boston University, helping the Terriers win their second Hockey East championship last season. In 130 games, Phelps tallied eight goals, seven assists, and 44 points.
During his time playing Midget hockey with Shattuck St. Mary’s in Chicago, he finished off this shootout goal below with a nice dangle (note: audio is piercing when the crowd cheers)
Hayton becomes the second Komets goaltender on the preseason roster, joining Lukas Hafner. Hayton was the starting goaltender for the University of Wisconsin this past season, posting a 9-12-3 record in 2017-18 with a 3.09 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage.
Here’s a nice breakdown of Hayton’s netminding skills during his time at Boston U.
Before transferring to Wisconsin, the 24-year-old Denver native spent three seasons at St. Lawrence University. He earned ECAC Rookie of the Year honors with a 1.95 GAA and .937 save percentage in 2014-15. He was a Hobey Baker nominee in his final season at St. Lawrence, thanks to his 2.28 GAA and .929 save percentage in 25 games.
With the new additions, the Komets roster currently sits at 15 players: nine forwards, four defensemen, and two goalies.
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