INDIANAPOLIS – The 2016-17 Indy Fuel roster is starting to take shape. Their most recent signing, Marek Tvrdon and signing two free agents forward John Scully and defenseman Matt Geurts to tryout contracts puts the training camp roster at 19 players. The last two seasons the Fuel have received a few players from their AHL affiliate in Rockford. Some of the players have gone on to join the Blackhawks on NHL contracts.
Goaltender Mac Carruth and defenseman Dillon Fournier will join forward Chris DeSousa and defenseman Nick Mattson at this year’s Chicago Blackhawks training camp. Carruth and Fournier both signed NHL contracts with the Blackhawks while DeSousa and Mattson are under contract with Rockford for the 2016-17 season.
This season the Indy Fuel will likely receive a few players on Rockford or Chicago contracts. Below is a list of players from Rockford that Indianapolis hockey fans may be seeing in a Fuel uniform.
- Evan Mosey (5-11, 185, Downers Grove, IL). Age: 27. Previous Team: Nottingham Panthers, EIHL.
- Bryn Chyzyk (6-0, 190, Virden, MAN). Age: 23. Previous Team: U. of North Dakota.
- Tyler Barnes (6-0, 198, Burnsville, MI). Age: 26. Previous Team: Missouri Mavericks, ECHL
- Gustav Forsling (6-0, 186, Stockholm, SWE). Age: 20. Previous Team: Linkoping HC, SHL
- Travis Walsh (5-11, 188, Bangor, ME). Age: 23. Previous Team: Chicago Wolves, AHL/Missouri Mavericks ECHL
- Erik Levine (6-0, 185, Wheeling, IL). Age: 27. Previous Team: Colorado Eagles, ECHL
- Jake Hildebrand (5-11, 182, Butler, PA). Age 23. Previous Team: Allen Americans, ECHL/Michigan State, NCAA
Taking a look at the forwards, Evan Mosey signed with Rockford after spending the last two seasons with the Nottingham Panthers (EIHL). While with the Panthers he finished the season tied for third on the team with 48 points (17g, 31a) in 63 games.
Bryn Chyzyk signed with the IceHogs in August after playing four years at the University of North Dakota. During his senior year, Chyzyk stablished career highs in points (22), goals (12) and assists (10). Along with the career highs, the forward helped the Fighting Hawks to the 2016 NCAA National Championship
Tyler Barnes is a name that is familiar with Indy Fuel fans. Barnes spent last season with the Missouri Mavericks where he was top point-getter tallying 61 points (24g, 37a). Barnes has never really cracked an AHL roster, he has only played 11 games split between the San Antonio Rampage, Grand Rapids Griffins and Bridgeport Sound Tigers. After last season with Missouri, Barnes could split time between Indy and Rockford this season.
Fans will most likely see Chyzyk and Barnes wearing Fuel uniforms this season. Although, Barnes could be splitting time between Rockford and Indy depending on his point production and numbers in Rockford.
Indy currently has four defensemen signed right now and Ben Marshall and Nick Petrecki still remain free agents. They both received qualifying offers from Indy.
The first player that could end up playing for the Fuel is Travis Walsh. Walsh just finished a four-year career with Michigan State University. After finishing his collegiate career, Walsh played a three-game stint with both the Missouri Mavericks and Chicago Wolves. While with the Spartans he tallied 48 points (3g, 45a) in 141 games. As a free agent invite to the Chicago Blackhawks rookie tournament roster, it’s very likely that Walsh spends time with Indy and Rockford.
The second player and a long shot to be any lower than an AHL roster is Gustav Forsling. The Stockholm, Sweden native spent last season with Linkoping HC (SHL). While with Linkoping he put up 21 points (6g, 15a) in 48 games. Forsling will most likely spend his time in Rockford but there is a slight chance that he ends up with Indy. The IceHogs have a significant amount of defensive depth which could be good news for Fuel fans.
Last season, goaltending was a problem for the Fuel. They never really had a consistent after Mac Carruth was called up to Rockford. This season will be a different story. Goaltending is extremely deep in the Blackhawks system. The Hawks have Corey Crawford, Scott Darling, Mac Carruth and Lars Johansson signed to NHL contracts.
Indy has Keegan Asmundson and Terry Shafer signed to ECHL contracts. That brings me to Rockford, Jake Hildebrand and Eric Levine are both signed to AHL contracts. Unfortunately, either Asmundson or Shafer will have to go. Levine will most likely be splitting time with Rockford and Indy, most of his time will be with the latter.
Levine has not been able to consistently stay with a team in the past couple of years. Since 2013-14, he has spent time with 12 teams, mostly ECHL. Jake Hildebrand is coming off of a four-year career with Michigan State University, where he played 133 games posting a .921 save percentage. Hildebrand will most likely spend his time as the backup to Mac Carruth in Rockford while Levine splits time with Indy.
There have always been a few players that spend their time with Indy while on AHL or NHL contracts. With the way the Blackhawks rookie tournament is going and preseason roster shaping up, Indy Fuel fans could see a few players joining the ECHL ranks. Heading towards Indianapolis will most likely be Eric Levine, Travis Walsh, Tyler Barnes and Bryn Chyzyk. The first preseason game for the Fuel is October 7th against the Fort Wayne Komets, after that, the final roster will begin taking shape.