The Journal Gazette
Thursday, July 29, 2021 4:00 pm

K's re-sign Lekkas, Boka

Add rookie forward and announce 2 preseason games

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette


Goaltender Stefanos Lekkas started strongly for the Komets and ended his season backing up for the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. Nick Boka helped the Komets to the Kelly Cup and was selected the team's Defenseman of the Year.

Both have been re-signed by the Komets, who also added rookie forward Shawn Boudrias.

Boka, 23, totaled four goals, 18 points and 122 penalty minutes in 44 regular-season games, then added two assists and 39 penalty minutes in 13 playoff games.

Lekkas, 25, was 7-2-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage for the Komets, but he also spent considerable time with the higher-level American Hockey League's Rochester Americans.

He was 1-5-1 with a 4.32 GAA and a .863 SP for lowly Rochester, yet showed enough to sign a prorated one-year NHL contract with the Sabres on May 4. That enabled Lekkas, who was a rookie, to spend the final week of the NHL season as backup to Michael Houser, a former Fort Wayne netminder, as the Sabres were decimated by injuries.

By signing that contract, though, Lekkas was not allowed, per the NHL's collective bargaining agreement, to rejoin Fort Wayne after the Sabres' season was over. Fort Wayne won the Kelly Cup with Dylan Ferguson starting every playoff game, Justin Kapelmaster as his backup, and Robbie Beydoun injured thanks to a knee injury sustained in the final week of the regular season.

The Komets extended a qualifying offer to Beydoun this week, ensuring they keep his rights another year. Ferguson is expected to begin this season with the AHL's Henderson Silver Knights.

“It's great to have our Defenseman of the Year back in a Komet uniform to help defend the Cup,” Komets general manager David Franke said. “Nick plays hard-nosed Komet hockey. Stefanos was off to a great start last season before being called up to the AHL and NHL. Shawn Boudrias is a solid two-way forward. He had a great career in the QMJHL a league the Komets have heavily recruited from over the last 32 years.”

Boudrias, 21, was a sixth-round draft pick of the NHL's Minnesota Wild in 2018. He skated four games last season with Iowa of the AHL, getting an assist, after he had 35 goals and 79 points in 59 games for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in 2019-20.

“Shawn is an elite scorer who will bring size and grit to our offensive group,” coach Ben Boudreau said. “He has proven to be dangerous in and around the net, he owns a great release on his shot, and expect him to be a difference maker defensively as well.”

The Komets have also re-signed forwards Anthony Petruzzelli, Zach Pochiro and Oliver Cooper, and defenseman Blake Siebenaler, a native of Fort Wayne, and they added rookie blue-liner D.J. King.

The Komets also announced they'll play two exhibition games against the Wheeling Nailers: 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at Wheeling West Virginia, and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Memorial Coliseum.

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