Four players from last season’s Fort Wayne Komets squad will return, as they look to defend their Kelly Cup championship this year when the regular season schedule commences in October. They also have added a notable rookie defenseman.
Three forwards, Anthony Petruzzelli, Zach Pochiro and Oliver Cooper, return to provide stability and experience up front. Petruzzelli scored 11 points in 2020-21, while being named recipient of the Best Defensive Forward award with the team. Heading into his fifth season with the Komets, Petruzzelli is closing in on 200 career games.
Pochiro played in 32 games last season, recording 29 points on 14 goals and 15 assists. Throughout a six-year professional career, he’s played for multiple teams in the ECHL.
For Cooper, this will be his second season competing in Fort Wayne. The centreman played in 17 games last season before putting together a solid run in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, where he recorded three goals and an assist.
A top defenseman is also back in the fold, as Blake Siebenaler, a former 2014 draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, is coming off a season that saw the Fort Wayne native compile 16 points across 47 games.
Rookie D.J. King secures a place for next season on the Komets, a team hitting a milestone plateau, celebrating their 70th anniversary season of Komets hockey. The defenseman comes over from the Ontario Hockey League, where in two seasons, he amassed 140 penalty minutes between the Hamilton Bulldogs and Saginaw Spirit.
With those signings, the Komets officially begin the journey to defend the Kelly Cup,” said David Franke, General Manager of the Fort Wayne Komets. “We all know how much fun we had winning the cup and we want to keep it. They were all instrumental in our run to the cup last season.”
Speaking to the newest face in Indiana, Franke said in regards to the signing, “Newcomer DJ King is a promising defenseman to the Komets. Along with the players we qualified, we feel we have a good core base from which to assemble the rest of the 21-22 Komets.”
Fort Wayne also gave qualifying offers to Robbie Beydoun and Stefanos Lekkas (G), Anthony Nellis, Matt Boudens and Stephen Harper (F), along with defensemen Nick Boka, Matt Murphy and Marcus Taylor.