Meet Your 2018-19 Utica Comets

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Utica Comets announced the 2018-19 opening night roster early Thursday afternoon. Highlighting the roster this season are rookies Adam Gaudette, Petrus Palmu, Jonathan Dahlen and Olli Juolevi. Returning from last year’s team are fan favorites Carter Bancks, Wavey Hamilton, Darren Archibald and Reid Boucher.

Here is a roundup of the opening night roster:

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Utica Comets Forwards

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*#9 Lukas Jasek – RW

Drafted by Vancouver 174th overall in 2015 (6th round)

Jasek spent most of 2017-18 playing for Liberec Bili Tygri HC in the Czech league. However, he did make the jump over to Utica at the end of the year and recorded 7 points in 6 regular season games with the Comets. Jasek is an excellent skater who sees the ice pretty well. His energy and creativity with the puck should make him fun to watch this season.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1090″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#10 Tanner Kero – C

Undrafted

Kero was acquired in the Michael Chaput trade back in June. Kero has 72 games of NHL experience under his belt, but has spent the majority of his career with AHL Rockford where he has played 130 games over the past 4 seasons.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1091″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#11 Cam Darcy – C

Drafted by Tampa Bay 185th overall in 2014 (7th round)

After spending two years playing for the Syracuse Crunch, Cam Darcy found a new home in Utica for 2017-18 season. Darcy signed an AHL deal with the Comets in November of last season. He put up 6 goals and 18 assists in 46 games. He signed a one-year extension with Utica over the summer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1092″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

*#13 Kole Lind – C

Drafted by Vancouver 33rd overall in 2017 (2nd round)

Kole Lind might sound familiar to some Comets fans. After his WHL team the Kelowna Rockets were eliminated from playoffs Lind played in 6 games for the Comets to end the season. He only managed to record one assist over those games, but he undoubtedly needs some time to adjust the fast pace of the AHL. He should play an important role in the Comets offensive production this season.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1093″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#15 Zack MacEwen – C

Undrafted

MacEwen had a great first professional season in 2017-18 and earned the Utica Comets most improved rookie award. He played a much larger role than expected due to injuries and NHL call-ups. He is a hard-nosed player who does the little things right. Has a quick release, gets to the net quickly, back checks hard and wins most of the puck battles. He is signed through the end of next season.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1094″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#16 Brendan Gaunce – C

Drafted by Vancouver 26th overall in 2012 (1st round)

Comets fans know Brendan Gaunce well. He played in Utica to begin his professional career in 2014-15 and 2015-16 before being called up to Vancouver. He did spend 9 games in Utica in the past 2 seasons on a conditioning stint where he picked up 6 points. After being cut from training camp, Gaunce will open his season in Utica where he will compete to be a call-up option for the bottom-six.

Gaunce is a strong two-way forward with a high compete level. He uses his speed to his advantage to beat defenders. He will definitely be a fan favorite in Utica this season.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1095″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#17 Adam Gaudette – C

Drafted by Vancouver 149th overall in 2015 (5th round)

Adam Gaudette is a HUGE addition to the Comets. He is strong and hard to knock off the puck with a lot of offensive upside. Gaudette won the Hobey Baker last year as the NCAA Top Collegiate Player following his senior season at Northeastern University.

I actually watched him play in-person at the 2018 NCAA Northeast Regionals in Worcester, MA and he was fun to watch. He continually made things happen in little to no space and had the crowd on the edge of their seats every time he had the puck.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1096″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#18 Vincent Arseneau – LW

Undrafted

Arseneau signed two different Professional Tryout deals last season with the Comets. He turned that tryout into a one-year contract which he signed in June. Don’t expect a lot of offense from Arseneau, but watch for him to throw the fists around a little bit.

Although Arseneau has never made it to the NHL he is very familiar with winning championships. He won the CHL Memorial Cup in 2011-12 with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and the ECHL Kelly cup in 2014-15 and 2015-16 with the Allen Americans.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1097″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#19 Tanner MacMaster – C

Undrafted

After finishing his senior season at Quinnipiac University McMaster signed an Amateur Tryout with the Comets during which he appeared in 13 games and recorded 7 points. He also scored a goal and racked up 3 assists in 4 playoff games. MacMaster signed a one-year AHL contract in May.

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#21 Brendan Woods – C

Drafted 129th overall by Carolina in 2012 (5th round)

Woods skated in 14 games with the Comets last year recording 4 points. A fan favorite due to his Utica connections, Woods is looking to improve on his injury shortened 2017-18 season.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1099″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#22 Jonah Gadjovich – LW

Drafted 55th overall by Vancouver in 2017 (2nd round)

Gadjovich is a feisty forward who uses his size and speed to open up space for himself and his teammates. Definitely an agitator who will get under the opponents’ skin. Always a team-first player that will find a way to make an impact for his line with each shift.

Gadjovich just completed a 4 year, 228 game career with the Owen Sound Attack in the Ontario Hockey League where he racked up 175 penalty minutes along with his 89 goals and 66 assists.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1100″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#24 Reid Boucher – LW

Drafted 99th overall by New Jersey in 2011 (4th round)

Reid Boucher quickly became a favorite player of many Utica fans last season where he put up 46 points in 45 games. He is one of those players that seems like he can score from anywhere on the ice and will get a lot of power-play time this season.

Boucher has appeared in a handful of NHL games every season since 2013-14 (132 total), but just can’t seem to land a full-time roster spot. Expect him to be one of the first call-ups to Vancouver should any illness or injuries arise.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1101″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#25 Darren Archibald – LW

Undrafted

Archibald has been in the Canucks system since 2010 and will always be a Utica fan favorite thanks to this hit against Karl Stollery of the Lake Erie Monsters way back in 2013:

Not spending a lot of time here because everyone knows Archi![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1102″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#34 Carter Bancks – LW

Undrafted

The beloved captain has turned his PTO way back in 2014 into a pretty solid AHL Career with the Comets. His offensive production has dropped the past couple of seasons (also played less games), but the fast and skilled young guys joining the team should benefit Bancks points totals.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1103″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#36 Wacey Hamilton – C

Undrafted

Just like Bancks, Wacey Hamilton has made the best of his PTO from 2014. He signed a two-year extension in July. This will be his fifth season with the Comets and the third as an assistant captain. Hamilton isn’t much of a goal scorer averaging about 7 goals a season, but it’s what he does without the puck that makes his game special.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1104″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

*#52 Petrus Palmu – RW

Drafted 181st overall by Vancouver in 2017 (6th round)

Palmu will be making his North American professional debut this season with the Comets. He previously spent three years in the OHL before going home to Finland to play in the Liiga with TPS last season. While in Finland he recorded 36 points in 59 regular season games and 6 points in 11 playoff games.

He is listed at 5’7″, but has great speed and talent to make up for his small size. Palmu has quick hands and excellent hockey IQ. Fans should be excited to see what he can do.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1106″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

*#58 Michael Carcone – LW

Undrafted 

Carcone is hoping to continue his seasonal points increase this year. In his rookie season he amassed 18 points followed by 27 last year while only playing in 7 more games. He also recorded 4 points in 5 playoff games last season.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1105″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

*#54 Jonathan Dahlen – LW

Drafted 42nd overall by Ottawa in 2016 (2nd round)

Dahlen is a highly touted prospect that many are looking forward to watching this season. Dahlen is an agile and creative playmaker with great technical skills to compliment his speed and vision. His father is Ulf Dahlen who had a lengthy 966 game NHL career that spanned 14 seasons.

Dahlen was acquired by Vancouver in February of 2017 in a trade for Alex Burrows.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Utica Comets Defense

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#2 Evan McEneny – D

Undrafted

McEneny is looking to get back on track after missing almost all of last season due to knee surgery. McEneny injured his left knee on November 15th, 2017 and had surgery soon after which put him out for the season. It was his second substantial left knee injury. He also missed nearly of the 2011-12 season when he was a member of the OHL Kitchener Rangers.

In his last full season, he put decent numbers for a defenseman, scoring 23 points in 64 games. He also made his NHL debut with the Canucks and is hoping to get the call-up once again.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1109″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#3 Jagger Dirk – D

Undrafted

Dirk was named CIS Defenseman of the Year in 2017-18 where he finished up his senior year at St. Francis Xavier University in the AUS, Canada’s equivalent of NCAA Division I. Dirk took advantage of his stellar University play and signed an ATO with Binghamton last season where he appeared in 7 games.

Soon after the season ended the Comets signed him to a one-year AHL contract on the same day they signed Tanner MacMaster.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1110″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#5 Jalen Chatifled – D

Undrafted

Last year, in his rookie season, Chatfield was a dependable player on the blue line for the Comets. He had a pretty solid season despite only putting up 7 points in his 60 games. He will be looking to continue his solid defensive play.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1111″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#6 Ashton Sautner – D

Undrafted

Another household name for even the most fair-weather Utica Comets fan. Sautner has been with the organization since 2015-16 when he made his professional debut after signing with Vancouver. He spends a lot of time playing special teams and will continue to do so this year. He made his NHL debut last year and recorded 2 assists in his 5 game stint with the Canucks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1112″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#8 Dylan Blujus – D

Drafted 40th overall by Tampa Bay in 2012 (2nd round)

Blujus is a Buffalo, NY native who has spent his entire AHL career in New York State. He spent the first three seasons of his career just down I-90 with the Syracuse Crunch where his playing time slowly dwindled to the point where was a healthy scratch for a good chunk of games.

After his entry-level contract came to an end and he was not re-signed by Tampa Bay, Blujus made his way to Jacksonville of the ECHL for the beginning of last season where he played 21 games. In December the Comets signed him to a PTO which turned into an AHL contract. Blujus signed another one-year AHL contract over the summer to remain in Utica.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1113″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#26 Jamie Sifers – D

Undrafted

Sifers is one of the oldest members of the team. He is a quick and mobile skater with a good breakout pass to get the play moving up ice. With 581 AHL games and 37 NHL games under his belt he is no stranger to the game. This is the second year of his two-year contract, and Utica will most likely be moving on from him come years’ end.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1114″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

*#48 Olli Juolevi – D

Drafted 5th overall by Vancouver in 2016 (1st round)

There were rumors that Juolevi would make the Canucks out of camp. Ultimately, it was decided it would be easiest to let him start his career in the AHL. He had a decent training camp, but was caught out of position a few times and also seemed to give up on plays.

Expect to see Juolevi rushing the puck through the neutral zone and use his 6’3″ frame to his advantage while battling for position in front of the defensive net. He will be a pleasure to watch develop in Utica over the course of the year.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1115″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#55 Guillaume Briesbois – D

Drafted 66th overall by Vancouver in 2015 (3rd round)

Brisebois is a solid two-way defenseman that is very alert and always forces things to happen. In his rookie season last year, he appeared in 68 games and recorded 3 goals and 18 assists. He will look to improve on that this year with his deceivingly hard shot from the point.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1116″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#64 Jesse Graham – D

Drafted 155th overall by the New York Islanders in 2012 (6th round)

Graham has been a career AHL and ECHL player and has never exceeded 25 points in a season. He spent the entire 2017-18 season with the San Antonio Rampage recording 4 goals and 17 assists. That was his best AHL total to date. Graham has played in 163 AHL and 58 ECHL games over the course of his career. He signed a one-year AHL contract over the summer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Utica Comets Goalies

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#31 – Ivan Kulbakob – G

Undrafted

Kublakov signed with the Comets over the summer and shouldn’t expect to be around long. Thatcher Demko is currently dealing with concussion symptoms but is still listed with Vancouver. Once he is cleared to play Kublakov will be on his way to the ECHL. He did appear in 8 AHL games last season finishing with a record of 0-5-0, sporting a 3.99 goals-against average and .861 save percentage.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”1118″ img_size=”200×200″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle_2″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

#32 – Richard Bachman – G

Drafted 120th overall by Dallas in 2006 (4th round)

Many people thought the Canucks would move on from Bachman, but he was re-signed to a two-year, two-way deal in June. Bachman compiled a 13-13-5 record last year acting as a backup to Demko. Although small for a professional goaltender, Bachman is known to make the big saves when he needs to and has single-handedly won games for his team in the past.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]All photos: Utica Comets[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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