Four players from last season's Kelly Cup championship team will be returning to Fort Wayne in 2021-22, and a rookie defenseman also has been signed, the Komets said today.
Forwards Anthony Petruzzelli, Zach Pochiro and Oliver Cooper will join defenseman Blake Siebenaler on the preseason roster, the club said in a statement.
Rookie defenseman DJ King has also signed, the statement said.
Petruzzelli, 28, of Federal Way, Washington, scored 11 goals last season while taking home the Komets award for Best Defensive Forward and the Wiegmann Family "True Komet" Award.
Pochiro, 27, had 29 points for the Komets last season. He has played portions of seven seasons in the ECHL totaling 240 games with the Komets, Kalamazoo, Alaska, Quad City, Norfolk and Allen.
Siebenaler, 25, of Fort Wayne, was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third round of the 2014 NHL entry draft. Last season with the Komets, he had 16 points.
Cooper, 26, played four seasons at the University of New Brunswick before signing with the Komets last season. He played in 17 regular season games scoring two goals and adding two assists. In the playoffs, he had three goals and an assist in eight games.
"Anthony Petruzzelli, Blake Siebenaler, Zach Pochiro and Oliver Cooper were all instrumental in our run to the cup last season," General Manager David Franke said in the statement.
King, 20, had 140 penalty minutes in two seasons in the OHL with Saginaw and Hamilton. He will be entering his first year as a pro.
“DJ is a hardnose, tough to play against defenseman who is reliable at his own end of the ice,” Coach Ben Boudreau said in the statement. "He comes from a great background and will be a great addition to our group.”
The Komets have presented qualifying offers to goaltenders Robbie Beydoun and Stefanos Lekkas. Also, forwards Anthony Nellis, Matt Boudens, Stephen Harper along with defensemen Nick Boka, Matt Murphy, and Marcus McIvor have been extended offers.
The season begins Oct. 23 against Wheeling at Memorial Coliseum.