Komets re-sign Desjardins, ink Kravchenko for 2017-18 season

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets pushed their early 2017-18 preseason roster to six with the addition of two forwards Thursday.  Gabriel Desjardins has re-signed and Dennis Kravchenko has agreed to terms for the upcoming campaign.

Desjardins, 24, will be returning for his second year in the Fort Wayne lineup.  He made his pro debut in 2013-14 skating nine AHL games with Lake Erie.  He added 12 AHL games with Charlotte in 2014-15 while also debuting in the ECHL by scoring eight goals and 17 points in 29 games with Florida.  Prior to joining the Komets last season, Desjardins logged 70 ECHL games with Florida in 2015-16.

“Gabe really turned out to be a great acquisition last season,” Komet general manager David Franke said.  “He is a hard worker with a nice offensive touch.  We are excited to welcome back Gabe to Komet land.”

Desjardins is looking to begin his fifth pro year after scoring career highs of 20 goals, 26 assists and 46 points in 64 Komet games last season and earning Fort Wayne’s Most Improved Player award the year.

Kravchenko (krav-CHENK-oh), 23, made his pro debut last season scoring 18 goals and 43 points in 41 games with the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder.  The skater led the Thunder in the playoffs with four goals and five points in six games.

“Dennis Kravchenko is a solid two-way player who can make plays and score at a good clip,” Franke said.  “Dennis will be a new face in the lineup for 2017-18.  He will be an exciting player for our fans to watch and cheer on.”

The Laguna Niguel, California native logged four years of juniors from 2011-2014.  In 2012-13 Kravchenko led the Sioux Falls Stampede with 41 assists and 63 points before winning a gold medal while serving as captain of Team USA at the World Junior A Championships in Nova Scotia in the Fall of 2013.  In 2013-14 Kravchenko finished his juniors career with Sioux Falls with a team-best 33 assists and ranked third with 46 points.

Kravchenko began a two-year collegiate career with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2014-15 leading with 23 assists and 33 points in 36 games.  The forward completed his college career in 2015-16 and registered Hockey East totals of 22 goals, 39 assists and 61 points in 68 appearances.

The Komet preseason roster grows to six players.  Desjardins and Kravchenko join Garrett Thompson and Mason Baptista at forward along with defensemen Jason Binkley and Ryan Lowney.

Opening night for the 66th season of Komet Hockey is slated for Saturday, Oct. 14 in Fort Wayne against the Toledo Walleye.