The Utica Comets have been active since their season ended with a first-round playoff loss to the eventual Calder Cup winning Toronto Marlies. The team has been shoring up their ranks in preparation for the upcoming 2018/19 season.
We all know how last season went with all of the injury and call-up issues that the team faced and that they used nearly every player in the ECHL on PTO deals over the course of the season. Okay, maybe that was a bit much, but you had to know that General Manager, Ryan Johnson was going to make sure that he had players at the ready for when that happens again this year.
The team has put pen to paper with defencemen Dylan Blujus, who is a righty and Jagger Dirk, who is a lefty, already this offseason. Veteran right shot defender, Jaime Sifers also has one year left on his AHL deal with the club.
They have also rewarded captain Carter Bancks with a new two-year deal and unsurprisingly, Wacey Hamilton was also recently re-upped to a two-year pact. The club has also come to terms with forwards Tanner MacMaster, Cam Darcy, and Vincent Arseneau since their season ended.
Today we found out that another forward, Brendan Bradley has been inked to a one year deal with the Comets.
Comets sign forward Brendan Bradley to a one-year contract.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) July 3, 2018
Bradley is an undrafted forward who can slot in at any position up front. Elite Prospects has him listed as standing 6-feet tall and tipping the scales at 181-pounds. The 25-year-old shoots left.
Bradley spent the past season with the Comets ECHL affiliate, the Kalamazoo Wings where he played in 72 games and managed 15 goals and 38 helpers to give him 53 points on the season. That’s some solid production, sitting him third in scoring for the Wings.
He also played two regular season games for the AHL Syracuse Crunch where he went scoreless. The Crunch thought enough of his game to get him into seven of their playoff games where he managed to pick up one goal for his efforts.
Previous to last season, he played four seasons with the University of Vermont where he played in 147 games, picking up 31 goals and 54 assists to give him 85 points for his NCAA career.
As Bradley played last season right under the nose of CanucksArmy writer Sie Morley, (@nowyousieme on Twitter) I reached out to her to get a little more info on the newest Comets signee. She had this to say.
“Bradley plays both center and wing. He was shifted to center in the middle of the season and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the way and did not look out of place. What stands out about Bradley is his speed. When he made the transition to center, he told me that he found it easier to utilize his speed in creating breakouts and leading the rush. Whether he is at center or on the wing, his high hockey IQ is evident in how he is able to create plays and quickly change direction.”
Morley went on to emphasize Bradley’s speed once again and how the shift to the middle really seemed to help things click for him.
Speed and high hockey IQ are things that have been targeted by the Canucks/Comets recently. Tanner MacMaster also fits this mould. It would seem that the organization is looking to prioritize those traits from top to bottom.
With the parent Canucks roster now sitting 16 forwards deep to go along with nine defencemen, (if/when Quinn Hughes signs) and the Comets roster getting bigger by the day, I would expect Bradley to start with Kalamazoo and be one of the first forwards called up when needed. I would imagine that Vincent Arseneau and Yan-Pavel Laplante will be joining Bradley with the Wings as well.
More moves will come to help the alleviate the bloated roster in Vancouver to go along with what I expect will be the additions of a couple more depth players in Utica before the summer ends. The Comets still need a third-string goaltender to stash in Kalamazoo for those times when Thatcher Demko is called up to help the Canucks or if there are injuries between the pipes in Utica as well.
Stay tuned as the offseason progresses and the moves continue to trickle in.