The Fort Wayne Komets can use some depth at center, and they are wondering if Adam Sinewitz has a big enough heart to fill the hole.
The Komets are talking with the 5-foot-7, 165-pound rookie center from Framingham, Mass. He scored 22 goal and 58 points in 28 games two years ago in the Dutch League, and last year scored 23 goals and 41 points in 29 games in the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League.
He had good statistics in the Dutch League, and we've heard he has a great worth ethic and tremendous enthusiasm,” Komets coach Al Sims said. “He can really skate and is a smart player with the puck. He just has to show us he can come in and play at this level at that size. His work ethic and intensity has to make up for his size factor.”
Komets General Manager David Franke said the team has not made an official offer yet to Sinewitz but they are talking to his agent.
The Komets have 22 players under contract for training camp with starts Oct. 6, including 11 forwards and 10 defensemen. Sims said the team is continuing to look for a back-up goaltender to Nick Boucher. Last year the Komets had Kevin Retier signed going into camp and then signed Boucher a week into the regular season.
The most interesting battles in training camp could come on defense where the Komets are much deeper than they were last year heading into camp. Guy Dupuis, Kevin Bertram, Brent Warner and Jake Pence are returning and Jason Beckett was a big signing last week, provided he doesn't stick with Norfolk of the American Hockey League. The Komets are also interested in having Brent Henley return, but he's also trying out with Norfolk.
"There's six kids coming in trying out for a spot, and it's going to be a battle,” Sims said. “It's great to be deep on defense, and that really helped us out a lot last year because Warner and Pence could both play forward. It's invaluable to have seven, eight defensemen who can play because most teams have six and once somebody goes down it's hard to find somebody during the season.”
Franke said the Komets could use another scoring forward, but points out that last year at this time no one knew Mathieu Curadeau, David Hukalo or Konstantin Shafranov would score like they did.
"Some of our kids have scored during their amateur days, so we'll have to see what they can do,” Franke said. “I think out of all our rookies we'll find six or seven who can compete at this level every night. Hopefully they'll bring the energy and excitement that last year's rookies did.”
Sims is heading to the Traverse City, Mich., Prospects Tournament this weekend to watch NHL rookie teams from Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Dallas, St. Louis and the New York Rangers. Then he'll head to Norfolk's training camp from Sept. 22 to 25.