FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets announced Monday that they have added four players to the preseason roster. Forward Christian Ouellet has agreed to terms and will be returning to the Fort Wayne lineup for his second season. Also added were center Angelo Esposito, forward Alex Hudson and goaltender Pat Nagle.
Ouellet, 23, will be entering his third pro season after spending time last season with San Francisco, Elmira and Fort Wayne. The Alma, Quebec native started the year skating four games with San Francisco before joining Elmira where he appeared in 19 games. Ouellet was traded to the Komets in January and finished the year scoring seven goals and 15 points in 33 games. The right winger added three goals and four points in 11 playoff games.
Esposito, 25, will be skating his sixth pro year after playing the last two seasons in Europe. The Montreal, Quebec native started his pro career skating two seasons in the AHL amassing totals of 10 goals and 38 points in 38 games during stints with Chicago, San Antonio and Texas. Esposito also made his ECHL debut in 2011-12 with Cincinnati appearing in three games before traveling to Europe where he split the 2012-13 season with Milan of the Italian Federation Hockey League and the Pelicans of Liiga in the Finnish Elite League. Last year Esposito appeared in 35 games with Bolzano of the Austrian Hockey League scoring seven assists and eight points before helping Bolzano to the Austrian Championship.
Prior to turning pro, Esposito skated four seasons of juniors in the QMJHL. He made his juniors debut in 2005-06 ranking third on the Remparts with 59 assists and 98 points in 57 games, was named to the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) All-Rookie Team, named the QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year and helped Quebec to the CHL Memorial Cup. He also won the WHC gold Medal with the Canada Quebec U17 team. In 2006-07 he again ranked third on Quebec with 52 assists and 79 points. Esposito was named to the CHL Top Prospect Team and awarded the QMJHL Best Professional Prospect Trophy. In 2007-08 Esposito was selected by Pittsburgh in round one of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft before completing his juniors career skating 35 games with Montreal in 2008-09.
Hudson, 26, will be entering his fourth pro year. In 2011-12 the Corona, California native finished four seasons of collegiate play with the University of Nebraska at Omaha and made his pro debut skating stints with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors and Manchester of the AHL. Hudson helped Alaska to the 2012-13 ECHL Brabham Cup Title (regular season championship) before posting career highs last season of 17 assists, 30 points and 97 penalty minutes in 59 games with Colorado. The forward has amassed totals of 29 goals, 62 points and 188 penalty minutes in 138 career ECHL games.
Nagle, 27, becomes the first goaltender to be added to the preseason roster. The Bloomfield, Michigan native posted a 2.73 goals-against average and 23-14-4 record last season in 43 games with Idaho in the ECHL. Nagle, the NAHL’s Rookie of the Year for 2006-07 with St. Louis, began a four-year college career with Ferris State in the CCHA in 2007-08. Nagle completed his four-year program in 2010-11 scoring a 2.02 goals-against average (18-14-5) to earn spots on the CCHA First All-Star Team and NCAA (West) First All-American Team. The netminder made his pro debut in 2011-12 appearing in 39 games with Florida in the ECHL (2.87 GAA, 10-14-3) before posting a 1.42 goals-against average in six playoff appearances with the Everblades en route to the 2012 ECHL Kelly Cup Championship.
The addition of Ouellet, Esposito, Hudson and Nagle bring the Fort Wayne roster to nine players including five forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender.
Home opener Oct. 18– The Komets will open the 2014-15 campaign with a home-and-home series against the new Indy Fuel. The season opener will be held at the newly renovated Fairgrounds Coliseum in Indianapolis Friday, Oct. 17 and then the 63rd Fort Wayne home opener is slated Saturday, Oct. 18 against the Fuel at 7:30pm.
Komets to host three exhibition games– The Komets will skate three exhibition games prior to the season opener, all at home on Coliseum ice. The Evansville IceMen will visit for the first two home tune-ups Friday, Oct. 10 at 8pm and Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7:30pm. The Kalamazoo Wings will visit Monday, Oct. 13 for a 7:30pm preseason tilt. All Komet home exhibition games will be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.