Michael Ratchuk, the defenseman assigned to the Komets this week by the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, is drawing rave reviews from coach Al Sims.
(OK, now maybe you get the Ratchet and Clank reference.)
"He's obviously an American Hockey League player and this is his first time at the AA level (of hockey)," Sims said of Ratchuk. "He's a great skater, a great puck-handler. He's like an upgraded Frankie DeAngelis. He's really going to help our power play, help us break it out of our own end."
I will note that has been a huge problem for the Komets, especially on special teams.
Asked about the defensive play of Ratchuk, a former second-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, Sims said: "We're going to have to see if we need to work on that a bit."
Remember, though, not to get too used to him being with the Komets. This is a conditioning assignment; it could last a week or a month.
- The Komets play Friday and Saturday at Bossier-Shreveport, La., and Sunday at North Richland Hills, Texas. This is the second of three trips this season in which the Komets fly. They leave Thursday from Fort Wayne at 6:05 a.m., then fly to Dallas before a 3.5-hour bus ride to Bossier City.
- The Komets' game originally scheduled for Feb. 21 at Bloomington, Ill., has been moved to Tuesday.