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Tailing the Komets

Ks sign defensive pair

From a Komets press release:

The Komets announced Tuesday that defensemen Nick Tuzzolino and Drew Olson have been added to the 2013-14 preseason roster.

Tuzzolino (tuzz-uh-LEEN-oh), 27, will be entering his seventh pro year and it will be his second stint with Fort Wayne.  The 6-foot, 6-inch defenseman made his pro debut with the Komets when he appeared in six games during 2006-07 while a member of the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).  "Nick has been at the top of our priority list for the past month," Komet head coach Gary Graham said. "He has been that top veteran d-man we have been looking for that can play big minutes and in all situations. He is a character person first and foremost and we are excited to welcome him and his wife to the Fort."

Selected by the New York Islanders in round 7 of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Tuzzolino skated his first complete pro season with Flint in the International Hockey League (IHL) in 2007-08 scoring career highs of 10 goals, 34 assists and 44 points.  In 2008-09 he made his ECHL debut with Alaska and has skated in the ECHL the past five consecutive seasons.

The Buffalo, New York native first appeared in the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2010-11 scoring a goal and two points in 20 games with Portland while also serving ECHL stints with Wheeling and Utah.  Last season Tuzzolino led Utah defensemen with 31 assists, 5th among defensemen in the ECHL, and 36 points.  He also led ECHL defensemen with 21 power play assists while ranking fifth in the league with 160 penalty minutes.  Tuzzolino capped the year by being named an ECHL Second Team All Star.

Olson, 23, completed four seasons of college play last year with the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the WCHA scoring three goals, 21 points and 109 penalty minutes in 147 games.  The Brainerd, Minnesota native helped Minnesota-Duluth to the NCAA Championship in 2010-11.  "Drew will be one of the best skating d-men in the league this year," Graham said. "He got a lot of ice time for a top program at UMD and brings a physical approach to his game. He competes hard and is physical at the point of attack constantly. We are happy he chose Fort Wayne."

Olson also made his pro debut last season scoring an assist in five AHL games with the Peoria Rivermen.  The defenseman was originally selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in round 4 of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft while a member of the Peoria Prancers in the United States Hockey League (USHL). 


Tue, 08/13/2013 - 4:35pm

Ok, a vet tough guy with height....seems ok to me.....what about weight

Young, seemingly tough playing  defenseman....also good....weight for him as well

Like what I see so far with the exception of the Rizk loss

indy ks fan
Tue, 08/13/2013 - 5:42pm

Finally a good signing.  Tuzzolino is a proven AHL/ECHL defenseman with toughness.

More than 20 players signed but the number of proven ECHL players or even those with a realistic shot of being effective ECHL players is considerably lower.  This team still needs skilled forwards and it appears that the Frankes have slammed the door on having access to players under NHL or AHL contracts.  Muse better be as good as advertised because I don't see where the goals are going to come from.

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 7:09pm

A lot of Utah fans happy to see Tuzzolino go.....  Too soft and whined to much is what I am seeing...  I hope they are all dead wrong....

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 7:50pm

Jr where did you see the thing about tuzzolino?

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 8:26pm


justin k
Tue, 08/13/2013 - 9:16pm

SO how are we going to pay for all these players, Word is Franks is going back to the CHL and paying them under the table., Hope the league doesnt find out, we would be in big trouble the ECHL is very tough on salary cap restrictions, I hope these players are keeping their mouths shut about how much we are paying them

Ron Heathman
Wed, 08/14/2013 - 1:05am

Tuzzolino has averaged 140 penalty minutes a season between AHL and ECHL for 7 years....hardly stats  of a soft player. His track record is of proven toughness and scoring ! On top of that a selected ECHL ALL STAR. What more could anybody ask for in a signing ?????????? 

Great great signing Komet Mgmt !!!!!!!!

Wed, 08/14/2013 - 7:34am

Tuzzolino brings a veteran presence, adds some PP scoring punch, and adds more size to the D corps....  That is good; but

Nick Tuzzolino = Mario Laroque

Both are 10 minute misconduct machines...

Tuzzolino had 7 last season (10 minute misconducts) and 4 fighting majors... 

Sometimes you have to break down the penalty minutes and not just look at the total number to determine "proven" toughness.  Word from Utah fans is he liked to run his mouth a lot; but not answer the call when challenged and he liked to complain to the ref's way too much. 

Olsen looks to be a guy that forwards are going to have to keep their heads up at all times when he's on the ice.     I like that signing... 

Defense competition in camp is going to be insane, IMO....

Primeval Forest Primate (Formerly JM)
Wed, 08/14/2013 - 9:10am

70 mins worth of misconducts. Not the kind of vetern leadership you want. Fans used to lose their minds when Brad MacMillan would go off and get tossed. Let's hope that Tuzzolino is kept on a short leash by a realively inexperienced coach. 

Olson looks like a guy that can patrol the defensive zone well. From the video I've seen he loves to smack opposing players around in the d-zone. Something we were sorely lacking last season. 

Wed, 08/14/2013 - 10:52am

He is a decent ECHL player, have known him for years he played with Nick Schaus as a kid, and was always a "Big Kid" but sometimes he wouldnt play big. if you know what I mean. He has the size to be in the NHL or at least the AHL. But there must be something missing in his game or demenor that has held him back, at 27 Id say he is on his last leg and just trying to make some money before he hangs up the skates and gets a job. Good luck to him and the Komets this season, with what I see the players they are bringing in they will make the playoffs for sure