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[UTICA COMETS] 2020-21 Season


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14 minutes ago, CRAZY_4_NAZZY said:

 

Comet's First ever Captain retires.

 

A shame that the pandemic has forced him into this position, if not for the pandemic issues, and the Comets basically in no need for any AHL veteran contracts, his career is cut a little short. Could've had another few more years.

 

Wish Carter the best.

Yes COVID is ending the careers of many career AHL and ECHL level players that were not able to find jobs in this shortened season.  One correction though...Carter Bancks was the Comets fourth captain.  Bancks joined the Comets in season two and has been here ever since.  Colin Stuart was the first year captain.  Cal O'Reilly was year two and Travis Green was quoted that O'Reilly was the best captain that he has ever been associated with at any level.  Bulldog Alex Biega was captain in year three but then was called up mid-season.  Carter Bancks has been the captain ever since.   

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4 hours ago, UticaHockey said:

Yes COVID is ending the careers of many career AHL and ECHL level players that were not able to find jobs in this shortened season.  One correction though...Carter Bancks was the Comets fourth captain.  Bancks joined the Comets in season two and has been here ever since.  Colin Stuart was the first year captain.  Cal O'Reilly was year two and Travis Green was quoted that O'Reilly was the best captain that he has ever been associated with at any level.  Bulldog Alex Biega was captain in year three but then was called up mid-season.  Carter Bancks has been the captain ever since.   

Ah yes I forgot Colin Sutart and the captain split in year 2. 

 

Even more a testament Carter Banck's effect, I nearly forgot the others lol. 

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Utica is going to have a healthy pool of competition especially on the blueline.

 

1) Going to be interesting I imagine Scott Perunovich and Jack Rathbone will be fighting for PP1 time, and likely because Perunovich has a bigger pedigree and and a higher draft pick, he may be given a look their first. Both offensively oriented dman who also on the smaller side both being sub 6 feet.

 

2) Additionally Utica now has two goalies from the Blues. Jon GIllis likely the number one goalie due to NHL/AHL experience. Fitzpatrick and Kielly likely duke it out for the backup role, though Fitzpatrick has had more pro experience and is a high draft pick (2nd round for the blues).  Meaning Mikey DiPietro is likely being loaned out to the Canadian division as stated by Patrick Johnson in his article in the Province, to get him games while keeping him within Canadian borders to be a third goalie call up and opens up a taxi squad roster spot for another skater.

 

3) Lots of veteran forwards being sent down with Nolan Stevens (Brother of current Comet John Stevens , and former North Eastern Teammate of Gaudette), Nathan Walker, Sam Anas, Curtis McKenzie and Tanner Kaspick. I expect the first four names to take key roles for Utica considering all 4 have had some sort of NHL experience and several years in the AHL. Could mean Jasek, Gadjovich, Lind, and Lockwood will be fighting for icetime in the top six. Others included is Evan Polei from the Blues.

 

AHL Veteran Steve Santini once known to be a high draft pick and prospect for New Jersey hasn't found his footing but brings a lot of experience  the most AHL experience on the blueline coming from the Blues group. Following after him is left shot dman Matthew Reinke who has been in the Blues system for 3 seasons spending time with their AHL affiliate. Jake Walman should be a familiar name as he was a former team Canada WJC dman also brings a few seasons of experience under his belt.

 

4) Some CHL graduates in Tyler Tucker a LHD who had an average OHL year, Jake Neighbours STL 2020 first round pick will be joining Utica due to the CHL allowing players to join AHL teams if they are drafted/signed by their professional team. First year college player Dakota Joshua is also joining Utica, while left wing Hugh Mging also begins his professional hockey career after spending time in college.

 

Only players that qualify the actual veteran 6 limit (players who have played in the NHL more than 320 games) are Nathan Walker (361), Curtis McKenzie (454). Currently atm, no Canuck players assigned to Utica meet the limit except for Sven Baertschi.

 

 

As you can start to see Utica's depth is good but it is crowded. Especially on the blueline, ultimately the guys who suffer in the Canucks group is likely Josh Teves, Mitch Eliot, and maybe Jett Woo. My anticipation of the lineup based on so far will be.

 

Baertschi - Anas - Lind

Walker - N.Stevens - Jasek

McKenzie - Kaspick - Neighbours

Polei/Gadjovich - J.Stevens - Lockwood

 

Spare LW: McGing

Spare Centers: Joshua/Focht

 

Walman - Santini

Perunovich - Brisebois

Rathbone - Reinke/Mikkola

 

LHD spares: Teves, Tucker, 

RHD spares: Woo, Eliot

 

Gillis

Fitzpatrick/Kielly

 

 

In addition the leadership roles will be huge to fill this season. If no AHL veterans return (Carter Bancks retired, Wacey Hamilton, Vince Arseneau, and Dylan Blujus remained unsigned) looking at most of the Blue's veterans to step up here. Sam Anas, Curtis McKenzie, and Steve Santini I imagine would be getting letters.  Only guy I see from our group if perhaps Baertschi or Brisebois.

Edited by CRAZY_4_NAZZY
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7 hours ago, CRAZY_4_NAZZY said:
 

2) Additionally Utica now has two goalies from the Blues. Jon GIllis likely the number one goalie due to NHL/AHL experience. Fitzpatrick and Kielly likely duke it out for the backup role, though Fitzpatrick has had more pro experience and is a high draft pick (2nd round for the blues).  Meaning Mikey DiPietro is likely being loaned out to the Canadian division as stated by Patrick Johnson in his article in the Province, to get him games while keeping him within Canadian borders to be a third goalie call up and opens up a taxi squad roster spot for another skater.

My understanding was that the taxi squad had to include a goalie if only 2 were on the regular roster

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2 hours ago, Googlie said:

My understanding was that the taxi squad had to include a goalie if only 2 were on the regular roster

Yes that is right. Unless the Canucks choose to claim a goalie through waivers, that player would have to stay on the active 23 man roster for 30 days before being sent down and theoretically placed on the taxi squad.

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14 hours ago, Googlie said:

My understanding was that the taxi squad had to include a goalie if only 2 were on the regular roster

Teams have to have 3 goalies at all times between main roster/taxi squad.  There’s also no AHL team that is less than a 5-hour non stop drive.  DiPietro would still be subject to the NHL’s 7 day quarantine if loaned to an AHL team in Canada.

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 Jason Shaya calls this game, he will be the new voice for the Comets this season, since the Charlotte Checkers decided to postpone their season due to Covid.

 

So he may not be a long term fit, may just for this season. Comets have had a history of frequent change in the broadcast box from Brendan Burke, Andy Zilch, Joe Roberts, and now Jason Shaya in their short 6 year conception in the league.

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Tyler Graovac, Ashton Sautner, and Arthurs Silovs heading to Manitoba.

 

Forwards anticipated to be in Utica

 

Lind, Jasek, Gadjovich, Lockwood, Focht, and Sven Baertschi

 

Defense anticipated to be in Utica

 

Woo, Teves, Eliot

 

Goalies anticipated to be in Utica

 

Kielly

 

Going to be heavily covered St Louis Blues prospect team.

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On 1/20/2021 at 1:53 PM, CRAZY_4_NAZZY said:

 Jason Shaya calls this game, he will be the new voice for the Comets this season, since the Charlotte Checkers decided to postpone their season due to Covid.

 

So he may not be a long term fit, may just for this season. Comets have had a history of frequent change in the broadcast box from Brendan Burke, Andy Zilch, Joe Roberts, and now Jason Shaya in their short 6 year conception in the league.

Jason Shaya sounds like a good pick up.  The Comets had two broadcast guys move up to the NHL.  Brendan Burke is the TV voice of the Islanders and does an increasing number of national games for NBCSN.  During the first couple of seasons with the Comets Burke was also doing college football games for Fox and Alex Faust filled in for him.  Faust was the radio guy for Northeastern University.  He is now the TV voice of the LA Kings.  Andy Zilch was ok but just didn't bring much excitement to the broadcast and his contract wasn't renewed.  Everyone in Utica liked Joe Roberts but I think he was unfortunately a victim of COVID forced cutbacks late last summer.  

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On 1/21/2021 at 1:38 PM, CRAZY_4_NAZZY said:

 

Polei would have been a Comets' enforcer.  Would have been nice to have him, but wouldn't want to see him take ice time from a Canucks' prospect like Gadjovich.  I also think that the Comets might still have Arseneau under contract.  If so, he can handle the enforcer role and does seem to be something of a fan favourite in Utica.

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1 hour ago, UticaHockey said:

Here is the training camp roster.

 

 

St.Louis has more players (yes, I know, just a couple more) than Vancouver does on Vancouver's farm team?  Don't see that too often. 

 

Can we send Loui down to even out numbers......:ph34r:

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I fully expect Scott Perunovich to be the Comet's number one powerplay QB this season, unless Jack Rathbone or Rafferty are sent down.

 

Will be a very young blueline for the Comets this season. Perunovich, Tucker, and Woo all making AHL pro debuts, while Teves, Eliot, are entering their sophomore seasons. Wesley, Santini, Reinke with the pro experience. 

 

 

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