FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The 70th anniversary season of Komet hockey will launch this Saturday, October 23, at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum at 7:35 p.m. The team will start its defense of the Kelly Cup against the Wheeling Nailers, in the first of 10 meetings between the two Central Division rivals. The championship banner will be raised to the rafters and there will also be a pre-game championship ring ceremony.
The Komets also announced that Kelly Cup Finals MVP Stephen Harper has been assigned to Fort Wayne by Chicago of the AHL. Defenseman Will Graber has also been reassigned to the Komets by the Hershey Bears. Forward Nick Jermain has been acquired from Kalamazoo in exchange for future considerations, goaltender Tommy Proudlock has been released and goaltender Jiri Patera has been reassigned to the Komets by the Henderson Silver Knights of the AHL.
Harper, 26, played 46 games with the Komets last season, collecting 31 points in his rookie campaign. In the playoffs, the 6’2 forward scored the game-winning goal in game four of the Kelly Cup Finals versus South Carolina, en route to being named playoff Most Valuable Player. Harper finished the post-season with six goals and seven assists in 12 games.
Graber, 25, skated four years at Dartmouth College, tallying 97 points (35 goals, 65 assists) in 123 games. The 6’5 Broomfield, Colorado native played both defenseman and forward in 20 games with the Bears last season, scoring one goal and three assists. Graber also appeared in 11 games with the South Carolina Stingrays.
Jermain, 25, played 13 games with the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL last season putting up 14 points. Before turning pro, Jermain played four years at Quinnipiac University, scoring 26 goals coupled with 25 assists in 123 contests. The 6’0 lefthanded forward also captained the Bobcats his senior season.
Patera, 22, was drafted in the sixth round by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL entry draft. The 6’2 netminder played seven games with the Henderson Silver Knights last season going 2-4-1. Patera was reassigned to the Komets late in the 2019 season but did not appear in a game.
There are still plenty of tickets available for opening night at the Coliseum ticket office and Ticketmaster.