Comets Ink Four
The Utica Comets continued to add organizational depth today with the announcement of four players signed to AHL deals for the upcoming season.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) July 23, 2019
I wrote about the Petgrave signing last week for CanucksArmy, but the team made things official today.
— Botchford's Army (@CanucksArmy) July 18, 2019
Along with Petgrave, the Comets have added fellow lefty Aaron Thow to the mix. Thow spent six games with the Comets on a PTO, (professional tryout offer) at the end of last season and picked up one assist for his efforts with the team.
The 6’1″, 194lbs defender from East York Ontario is 24-years-old. He joins the Comets after a four-year career with Clarkson University in the NCAA where he was a teammate of Comets potential netminder Jake Kielly. Thow picked up 15 goals and 37 assists to give him 52 points in his 144 NCAA games for a points-per-game average of 0.36.
The Comets left side currently features a pile of defenders, so I see Thow and Petgrave plying their trade in Kalamazoo until the expected injuries and call-ups hit the Comets.
- Olli Juolevi
- Ashton Sautner
- Guillaume Brisebois
- Josh Teves
- Stefan LeBlanc
- Matt Petgrave
- Arron Thow
At the very least, the coaching staff in Utica will have some options on the left side for the upcoming season.
The Comets have also brought forward Dyson Stevenson back after the forward spent three games with them on a PTO at the end of last season. Stevenson went pointless in his three games but was able to make an impression with his pugilistic endeavours.
The 6’0″, 185lbs native of Shaunavon Saskatchewan, (same home town as Kole Lind) can play the wing or the middle, giving the coaching staff another swingman who will be available to the team. The 26-year-old has played in nine AHL games split between Portland, Bridgeport, and Utica, going pointless while picking up 12 minutes in the box.
In 279 ECHL games, Stevenson has compiled 52 goals and 78 helpers to give himself 130 points, or 0.47 points-per-game split between Bakersfield, Gwinnett, Allen, and Wichita. He has also picked up 639 penalty minutes in those 279 ECHL games, so I see Stevenson playing in Kalamazoo until someone like Vincent Arseneau gets dinged up in Utica.
The other player who’s signing was announced today was center Tanner Sorenson. The native of Anchorage Alaska is 26-years-old, stands 5’9″ and tips the scales at 179lbs. Sorenson spent parts of three seasons with the Kalamazoo Wings/Alaska Aces in the ECHL, picking up 72 points in 134 games before he headed overseas to try his luck in the VHL for the 2017/18 season where he picked up 31 points in 45 games to go along with 80 minutes in the penalty box.
Last year, Sorenson started the season in Switzerland, playing eight games for EHC Winterthur, picking up five points for his efforts before returning to Kalamazoo and putting up 64 points in 55 games. Sorenson looks like another player who was signed as depth and will likely spend the bulk of his season with Kalamazoo.
The four signings bring the Comets to a total of 11 players signed to AHL deals for the upcoming season.
- Carter Bancks: F, veteran status.
- Wacey Hamilton: F, veteran status.
- Carter Camper: C, veteran status.
- Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW.
- Seamus Malone: F.
- Dyson Stevenson: F.
- Tanner Sorenson: C.
- Dylan Blujus: RD.
- Stefan LeBlanc: LD
- Matt Petgrave: LD.
- Aaron Thow: LD.
The Comets have done a solid job of adding depth for the upcoming season and I would imagine that they are nearly done signing players this offseason. I could see the team possibly adding another right-shot defenceman to the system, but otherwise, they are starting to look like the team that we will see suiting up for camp in the 2019/20 season.
Stay tuned to this space for any and all Utica Comets related player movement throughout the offseason.