FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets announced Tuesday that center Jamie Schaafsma has agreed to terms and will join the Komets for 2015-16.
Schaafsma, 32, has played a major role the past three seasons helping the Allen Americans win three straight league championships, including the ECHL Kelly Cup Championship last season. Schaafsma was on board with Allen last year in their move from the CHL to the ECHL, scoring 17 goals and 49 points in 72 regular season games before netting five goals and 16 points in 25 playoff games en route to the ECHL crown.
“Jamie is a key signing for us as we work to build a championship caliber team,” Komet general manager David Franke said. “We know Jamie from his Flint days and have followed his career ever since. Jamie will bring a veteran presence to the Komets. He is a solid two-way player and will contribute greatly to our offense. Jamie knows how to win and what it takes to be a champion.”
The Chatham, Ontario native began his career in Europe in 2004-05. Schaafsma won two Dutch Beker Cup Championships with Netherlands in 2007 and 2008. In 2008-09 the veteran center won the Italy Championship with Bolzano before leading Netherlands to the world Championship with five goals and seven points in five games.
Schaafsma made his American pro debut skating 75 games with Flint in the IHL, leading the Generals with career highs of 30 goals and 65 points.
In 2012-13 Schaafsma won his first league championship, the CHL Presidents’ Cup, with Allen. The skater ranked third on Allen in 2013-14 with 21 goals and added 34 assists for 54 points in 61 games before leading the Americans to their second CHL crown with 10 goals, 10 assists and 20 points in 17 post-season games.
In additional player news, the Komets also announced Tuesday that forward Leo Thomas and goaltender John McLean have accepted training camp tryout invitations.
Thomas, 33, will be returning to the Fort Wayne lineup for his 13th pro year. Thomas skated with the Komets four seasons from 2008-09 thru 2011-12 and was on board for three Fort Wayne championships including two IHL crowns and one CHL title. The Toronto, Ontario native made his pro debut in 2003-04 with Flint in the UHL. Thomas led the Generals in 2005-06 with career highs of 34 goals and 71 points in 76 games.
Thomas first appeared with the Komets in 2008-09, collecting his first IHL Championship while earning Fort Wayne’s Mr. Hustle Award for the year. In 2009-10 he led the Komets with 33 goals and added 27 points for 60 points in 72 games and was named co-winner of the Unsung Hero Award. Thomas finished the year netting five goals and 11 points in 12 playoff games en route to his second Turner Cup. Thomas was a key in Fort Wayne’s CHL Presidents’ Cup Championship in 2011-12 scoring three goals and nine points in 12 playoff games.
Thomas has served the last two seasons as captain of the Mississippi River Kings in the SPHL. Last season Thomas led Mississippi with 23 goals and ranked second with 48 points in 53 games.
McLean, 25, completed two years of juniors winning the SIJHL (Superior International Jr. Hockey League) championship with Wisconsin in 2010-11 and earned the SIJHL Best Goaltender Award. Last year the netminder completed his four-year collegiate career with Gustavus in the MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) leading the team with a 2.03 goals-against average and was named to the MIAC All-Conference Team for the third time. McLean also logged three SPHL games with Pensacola (2-0-0).
The Fort Wayne preseason roster grows to 21 players and includes two goaltenders, six defensemen and 13 forwards.