Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets announced Wednesday that last year's leading scorer and MVP Shawn Szydlowski and Defenseman of the Year Drew Daniels have agreed to terms and will return to the Fort Wayne lineup for 2015-16. Also, the Komets announced that one of the top scorers in European competition, P.J. Fenton has agreed to terms for the upcoming season.
"Shawn Szydlowski, Drew Daniels and P.J. Fenton represent a very positive addition to the hockey club," Komet general manager David Franke said. "Szydlowski was our MVP and leading goal scorer, Daniels was our best defenseman and P.J. Fenton is an accomplished player at all levels he has played."Szydlowski, 24, will be returning for his third season of play in Fort Wayne. The right winger registered a career year last season leading the Komets with 38 goals and 74 points in 57 games and was named the Komets Most Valuable Player of the year. Szydlowski also appeared in 11 AHL games with Binghamton, Lake Erie and Norfolk.
The St. Clair Shores, Michigan native made his pro debut in 2010-11 skating two games at the end of the season with the AHL's Portland Pirates after completing a four-year juniors career with Erie (OHL). Szydlowski signed a three-year, entry level NHL contract with the Buffalo Sabres as an undrafted free agent prior to appearing in 53 AHL games with Rochester in 2011-12. The skater first joined the Komets in 2013-14 on assignment from Rochester, scoring 11 goals and 26 points in 63 games. Szydlowski has amassed ECHL totals of 50 goals, 103 points and 96 penalty minutes in 126 games.Daniels, 26, led Fort Wayne defensemen last season with 45 points and ranked second among ECHL defensemen with 41 assists while appearing in all 72 regular season games. The Sufferin, New York native also collected the ECHL Plus Performer of the Year Award scoring a league-high +46 and was named Fort Wayne's Defenseman of Year. Daniels was acquired last summer in a trade with Utah.
During 2013-14 the defenseman shared the season with Cincinnati and Utah. Daniels made his pro debut in the CHL in 2012-13 appearing in 63 regular season games and 12 playoff games with the Allen Americans en route to the Presidents' Cup Championship. Prior to turning pro, Daniels logged a three-year collegiate career with Northeastern University in Hockey East after being selected by San Jose in round seven of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Daniels has scored five goals and 52 points while accumulating 52 penalty minutes in 129 ECHL games.Fenton, 30, will be in the Fort Wayne lineup celebrating his eighth pro career year. The forward completed last season leading Landshut in the DEL 2 German league with European career highs of 40 assists and 64 points in 51 games. Fenton began a collegiate career with the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in Hockey East in 2004-01 in Hockey East and was named to the NCAA (Hockey East) All-Academic Team and All-Rookie Team while claiming the team's Rookie of the Year Award. Subsequently, he was selected by San Jose in round five of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The forward completed his four-year college career in 2008 before capping the season with four AHL games with Worcester. Fenton made his European debut in 2009-10 with Heilbronner in the Germany 2 league and skated 47 games in 2011-12 with Bietigheim where he led the Steelers with 35 assists, 62 points and 100 penalty minutes. The Springfield, Massachusetts native captured the Germany 2 Championship with Bietigheim in 2012-13 while leading with 28 goals and ranked second with 62 points in 48 games."All three provide us with good offensive firepower and they are all good two-way players," Franke added. "We like the way the team is coming together. Coach Gary Graham and I are working hard to ensure another great Komet season for all of our fans."
The Fort Wayne preseason roster grows to 15 with the addition of Szydlowski, Daniels and Fenton and includes one goaltender, five defensemen and nine forwards.
Home opener Oct. 17-- The 64th season of Komet hockey starts with a home-and-home series against long time rival Kalamazoo. The Komets skate at Kalamazoo Friday, Oct. 16 for the season opener. Then the Komets will face the Wings for the Fort Wayne home opener Saturday, Oct. 17 at 7:30pm. Season tickets for 2015-16 are on sale at the Komet office at 1010 Memorial Way in Fort Wayne. Call the Komet office at 260-483-0011 or visit komets.com for information.