The Fort Wayne Komets signed forward Jason Sessa, who spent last season with Memphis of the Central Hockey League, scoring 30 goals and 54 points in 64 games.
“I’m very excited to be coming to Fort Wayne,” Sessa said. “Knowing the atmosphere and the kind of teams Fort Wayne has every year, I’m excited we were able to work out a deal.”
Sessa, 30, should be familiar to Fort Wayne fans. He played against the Komets in the United Hockey League between 2003 and 2006, surpassing the 30-goal plateau twice.
“We look at Jason as being one of our top six forwards,” Komets general manager David Franke said. “He played against us when he was in Quad City and Elmira, and he knows the electricity that goes on in our building with the number of fans we get, and he knows we have a good chance to win everything here. We’re excited to have him. He always played very well against us, and we always considered him one of the best players in the league.”
A fourth-round draft pick of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs in 1996, Sessa played three seasons at Lake Superior State University and has played parts of six seasons in the American Hockey League. He is 6-foot-1, 200 pounds.
“I look at him as being a power forward,” Franke said. “He goes to the net and plays hard, and he’s got a good amount of skill. We hope he can get 25 to 35 goals for us.”
Sessa said to be careful with the power forward description, since he doesn’t consider himself a bruiser.
“I’ll hit when I have to, but I just go out there and try to be reliable, offensively and defensively,” he said, “and I try to do what I do best and not be a liability on the ice.”
The Komets also added rookie goaltender Shawn Monette to their preseason roster, where he will join netminders Kevin Reiter and Shawn Degagne. Monette played junior hockey last season for the Dauphin Kings, going 32-13-2 with a 2.92 goals-against average.
“(Monette) has got a job already down in Knoxville of the (Southern Professional Hockey League), but we’re bringing him into camp to find out if he’s a guy we’ll look at if we have a call-up to one of our goalies or sickness,” Franke said. “He’ll only be an airplane flight away. ... I expect him to get into an exhibition game and we’ll give him a good look.”
The Komets have 13 forwards, five defensemen and three goalies so far for their inaugural season in the new International Hockey League. Training camp opens Oct. 8.