Photo Credit: Cory Hergott

Utica Comets Add Depth With The Signings Of Defencemen Matt Petgrave/Aaron Thow, Along With Forwards Dyson Stevenson/Tanner Sorenson

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.

I wrote about the Petgrave signing last week for CanucksArmy, but the team made things official today.

Aaron Thow

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.

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  1. Olli Juolevi
  2. Ashton Sautner
  3. Guillaume Brisebois
  4. Josh Teves
  5. Stefan LeBlanc
  6. Matt Petgrave
  7. Arron Thow

At the very least, the coaching staff in Utica will have some options on the left side for the upcoming season.

Dyson Stevenson

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.

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Tanner Sorenson

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.

  1. Carter Bancks: F, veteran status.
  2. Wacey Hamilton: F, veteran status.
  3. Carter Camper: C, veteran status.
  4. Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW.
  5. Seamus Malone: F.
  6. Dyson Stevenson: F.
  7. Tanner Sorenson: C.
  8. Dylan Blujus: RD.
  9. Stefan LeBlanc: LD
  10. Matt Petgrave: LD.
  11. 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.



  • Defenceman Factory

    If this is a conscience effort to have depth readily available in Kalamazoo it should allow coaches and management to be more focused on the development of Canuck prospects instead of scouring the landscape for able bodies to backfill injuries.

    If, on the other hand, we see Canuck prospects losing ice time to these guys there will be a huge backlash from fans.

    • Cory Hergott

      DF: Last year the Comets had the following players on AHL deals…
      Carter Bancks: F
      Wacey Hamilton: F
      Vincent Arseneau: F
      Tanner MacMaster: F
      Cam Darcy: F
      Brendan Woods: F
      Reid Gardiner: F
      Kyle Thomas: F
      Brendan Bradley: F
      Jaime Sifers: RD
      Dylan Blujus: RD
      Jesse Graham: RD
      Jagger Dirk: LD
      Brandon Anselmini: LD
      Ivan Kulbakov: G
      They used all but Bradley last year as well as several players on PTO deals. The bulk of these players will likely be starting the year in the ECHL. I can see Bancks, Hamilton, Arseneau, Malone, Blujus, and LeBlanc starting in Utica though.

    • tyhee

      These guys are intended to sit in the ECHL until needed. If they get time ahead of a young player, it really means that player is injured, being disciplined, sitting in the pressbox to watch something in particular or not a worthwhile prospect.

  • Hockey Bunker

    The priority in Utica needs to be the rapid development of Canucks signings and draft picks. Utica signed players should be fill in or players who can aid in the development goal. If any get a proper Canucks need to make changes. Imagine a triple A baseball team giving priority to a journeyman minor leaguer over a hot prospect.

    • rediiis

      I wanted to give you ten cheers, although a hot prospect in baseball jumps from AA and skips AAA. This is like a hot prospect jumping from the SHL, WHL, KHL or OHL. I remanded your ten cheers to nine. Well said.

  • Dlw

    Having depth is a very good thing, plus those already with team knows systems and style that team wants. Hopefully it leads to successful teams at all levels. Could use a couple centers with size though.

    • Bill Laforge

      Tyler Graovac is big, Zack McCewen can play center, Gaudette will probably start in Utica. The fear is they will go with Wacey Hamilton or Carter Camper or some other AHL slug down the middle.