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Smith says he's returning to Komets

Source says Schrock also re-signed

Brett Smith is looking forward to the challenges the ECHL has to offer.

And he's looking forward to doing it as a member Komets. The center said he re-signed with Fort Wayne, calling the decision a "no-brainer."

"It was an unbelievable place to play and a fantastic season," Smith said in a phone interview Monday.

"Great fans, great city, everything about it. I'm just really excited to come back. It's going to be a challenge playing in a new league. I'm looking forward to that.

"… Summer can't go by quick enough. We'll get back at it."

Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock also re-signed with the Komets, a source confirmed to The Journal Gazette. Calls to Schrock were not returned.

The alternate captains are the first two signings for next season.

Komets general manager David Franke could not comment on any potential signings.

This will be Smith's second season in Fort Wayne. He had 20 goals and 42 assists for the Komets in 2011-12. He was the CHL Player of the Month in November and also made the CHL All-Star team. Smith has won championships in the last two years. He was with Bossier-Shreveport of the CHL in 2011.

"It's definitely going to be different than what I'm used to," Smith said of the move to the ECHL, "but we'll prepare ourselves in any way we can to match up with the top teams in that league and put our best foot forward going into October."

This would be Schrock's fourth season with Fort Wayne. A native of Fort Wayne, Schrock had 12 goals and 22 assists in 66 games last season.

Justin A. Cohn of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at