FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets announced Monday that they have extended tryout invitations to defenseman Nicholas Kuqali and goaltender Andrew Walsh.
Kuqali (coo-KAHL-ee), 30, will be entering his sixth season of play since finishing a four-year career with the University of Wisconsin/Eau Clair in 2010, capping his college career with the NCAA III Most Dedicated Player Award for the second consecutive season. Kuqali began his post college career skating the entire 2010-11 season in the Federal Hockey League with the New York Aviators. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native skated his first of four seasons in the SPHL with Mississippi. In 2012-13 the defenseman made his ECHL debut skating stints with Orlando and South Carolina while adding 11 CHL games with Bloomington. Kuqali also appeared in three ECHL games in 2013-14 with Wheeling while also logging 44 SPHL games with Mississippi. Last year Kuqali split his appearances in the SPHL between Louisiana and Huntsville while adding 22 ECHL games to his resume with Wheeling.
Walsh, 24, becomes the third goaltender to be listed on the Komets’ preseason roster. Walsh made his pro debut last year playing two ECHL games with Stockton after completing a four-year collegiate career with Bemidji State University where he collected career totals of 20-36-13, five shutouts, 2.76 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. In 2009-10 the netminder finished three years of play n the BCHL, skating stints with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Langley Chiefs and Prince George Spruce Kings. In 2010-11 he appeared in 32 games with his hometown Dawson Creek Rage on the NAHL.
The Fort Wayne preseason roster reaches 26 players including 15 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders.
The Komets’ training camp opens on Monday, Oct. 5 with a press luncheon scheduled for Noon at the Coliseum in the Red Room. A complete camp schedule will be released later this week.
Home opener Oct. 17— The 64th season of Komet hockey opens with a home-and-home series against long time rival Kalamazoo. The season opener is slated for Kalamazoo Friday, Oct. 16 before the Komets’ home opener against the Wings Saturday, Oct. 17 at 7:30pm.
The Komets will skate three exhibition games. Wednesday, Oct. 7 the Komets visit Indy for a 6pm tune-up against the Indy Fuel at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The game will be closed to the general public. The Komets will host Evansville in exhibition Friday, Oct.9 at 8pm and Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7:30pm at the Memorial Coliseum.
–See Komets Schedule–