The Komets announced Tuesday that they have initiated the 2012-13 preseason roster with four players that have agreed to terms. Returning champions from 2011-12 are Colin Chaulk, Brett Smith and Fort Wayne native Kaleigh Schrock. All three will be in uniform when the Komets make their ECHL debut in October.
Chaulk, 35, will be back for his 10th season with the Komets and 15th as a pro. The Toronto, Ontario native will also serve as player-assistant coach to head coach Al Sims for the upcoming season. Last season Chaulk posted 22 goals and 61 points in 60 games with Fort Wayne. During his Fort Wayne career Chaulk has won five league championships (2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012). The veteran center is a five-time Komets team MVP. Chaulk has led Fort Wayne into the playoffs nine times out of 10 seasons with the Komets and holds the Fort Wayne franchise record of most playoff appearances by a player at 99. Chaulk's career regular season totals with the Komets are 560 games (8th), 182 goals, 480 assists (second to Len Thornson's 807 assists) and 662 points (3rd). Chaulk's record 99 Fort Wayne playoff games have yielded 33 goals, 69 assists (second to Thornson's 74 assists) and 102 points (second to Thornson's 127).
Smith, 30, will return for his second season with Fort Wayne and ninth as a pro. The veteran center's CHL title last year with the Komets was his second straight CHL Presidents' Cup after collecting the championship with Bossier-Shreveport in 2010-11. Smith ranked second last year in Komet scoring, tying Chaulk with 61 points while posting a career high 41 assists in 55 games. The Guelph, Ontario native scored three goals and 13 points appearing in 17 playoff games en route to the 2012 CHL championship. Smith was named to the 2012 CHL All-Star Team and received the Komets' NOB Brick Award for 2011-12 as the Stonewall Defensive Forward of the Year.
Schrock, 27, hails from Fort Wayne and will be starting his fourth consecutive season in the Komet lineup. The right wing has played his entire pro career with the Komets and capped last season with career highs of 22 assists, 34 points and plus-26. Schrock appeared in all 18 Fort Wayne post-season games scoring six goals and nine points while accumulating a team-high 29 penalty minutes. Last season was Schrock's second championship finish with the Komets after earning the 2010 IHL Turner Cup title in his rookie season.
All three returnees were Komet captains last season. Chaulk was team captain while Smith and Schrock served as alternate captains.
The Komets also announced that rookie defenseman Kyle Atkins has been added to the pre-season roster. Atkins, 23, recently completed four seasons with the Holy Cross Athletics of the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA). During 2011-12, the senior defenseman scored a Division I career best nine goals, 15 points and 22 penalty minutes and was awarded his second Glenn Crane Memorial Award, which Holy Cross gives to the player that leads his team the most by example. Prior to his stint with Holy Cross, Atkins skated three seasons with the Brockville Braves of the Central Junior A Hockey League (CJHL) scoring 26 goals 98 points in 172 games.
Komets slate two exhibition home games-- The Komets will tune up for their inaugural ECHL campaign with a pair of exhibition home games. The Evansville IceMen will visit for both pre-season tilts at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Komets will face the IceMen Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7:30pm and again Sunday, Oct. 7 at 5pm. The Komets will meet the IceMen 11 times during the 2012-13 regular season with Evansville visiting on six occasions. The Komets will begin their road schedule for 2012-13 when they travel to Evansville for the first of five meetings at the Ford Center Saturday, Oct. 13. Last year the Komets took the season series 7-4-2 in 13 meetings in the CHL.