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Photo Credit: bramptonbeast.com

Comets Add More Depth On The Blueline With Signing Of Matt Petgrave To AHL Deal

Comets Sign Petgrave To AHL Deal

The makeover continues on the blueline in the Cancuks/Comets organization as it appears that Matt Petgrave has been signed to an AHL deal for the upcoming season.

Petgrave finished last season on a PTO, (professional tryout offer) with the Comets where he put up one goal and one helper in his 12-game audition. The 27-year-old lefty has played forward as well as defence, but he was used on the backend by Comets coach Trent Cull.

The six-foot-one, 201-pounder hails from Toronto Ontario.

Petgrave has been a point producer in the past, piling up 157 points in 243 OHL games split between Niagra, Owen Sound, and Oshawa. After wrapping up his OHL career, Petgrave went on to play four seasons with the University of New Brunswick, putting up another 60 points in 108 games.

As a pro, the defender has spent the bulk of his time with the Brampton Beast of the ECHL where he has been able to put up 65 points in 99 games, earning himself a first-team all-star nod for his 40 points in 50 games last year. Petgrave has also seen time in the AHL on PTO deals with the Comets, Syracuse Crunch, Belleville Senators, and Laval Rocket where he has managed just the two points with the Comets in 27 games split between the four clubs.

The Canucks and Comets have both been rebuilding their backends this offseason.

Left Side

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  1. Alex Edler – NHL Deal
  2. Quinn Hughes – NHL Deal
  3. Jordie Benn – NHL Deal
  4. Oscar Fantenberg – NHL Deal
  5. Olli Juolevi – NHL Deal
  6. Ashton Sautner – NHL Deal
  7. Guillaume Brisebois – NHL Deal
  8. Josh Teves – NHL Deal
  9. Stefan LeBlanc – AHL Deal
  10. Matt Petgrave – AHL Deal

Right Side

  1. Tyler Myers – NHL Deal
  2. Chris Tanev – NHL Deal
  3. Troy Stecher – NHL Deal
  4. Alex Biega – NHL Deal
  5. Jalen Chatfield – NHL Deal
  6. Brogan Rafferty – NHL Deal
  7. Mitch Eliot – NHL Deal
  8. Dylan Blujus – AHL Deal

It will be interesting to see how the rosters shake out for the upcoming season on the backend as there are a couple of scenarios that we could see happen. NHL teams can only carry 23 players on their active roster. Teams will normally set their roster up with 13 forwards and eight defenders, or go with 14 forwards and seven blueliners.

If the Canucks elect to go with eight defencemen, they would likely be Edler, Hughes, Benn, Stecher, Myers, and Tanev as the top-six, with some combination of Fantenberg, Biega, Sautner, or Juolevi rounding out the group.

If the team does go with 8 defencemen, I would expect to see Fantenberg and Biega as the final two who make the squad with Juolevi and Sautner heading to Utica until the injuries kick in. It needs to be noted that of that group of four, only Juolevi will not require waivers to get to Utica.

If the Canucks go with seven defenders, that would push one of Fantenberg or Biega to Utica as well.

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At the end of the day, the Petgrave signing is a depth move for the Comets, but it is a sound one. The player showed well enough in his 12 games to warrant a longer look in a depth role and brings some versatility with his ability to line up on the wing if needed. I would not be surprised if the Comets add at least one more defenceman on an AHL deal as the team has eaten up defenders on PTO deals on the regular in the past.

Stay tuned to this space throughout the offseason for any moves that the Comets make.