A familiar last name is coming to the Indy Fuel, as Dean Chelios has agreed to terms with the ECHL team.
Dean played four years at Michigan State, finishing his eligibility this spring, where he played for coach Kelly Miller. In 139 college games with the Spartans, Chelios tallied 18 goals and 31 assists. Along with his younger brother Jake, Dean made his professional debut this spring, playing eight games for the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye after finishing his college career at MSU.
Chelios, a 25-year-old left-shot forward, is the third straight signing who brings a bit of size to the Fuel frontline. He stands 6-2, 185. He is the seventh forward on what is currently a nine-player roster.
He has shown a scoring touch in junior, with 19 goals and 54 points in 55 games in 2008-09 with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Chicago Steel. He missed the 2012-13 season with an injury, but had a pair of eight-goal seasons (in a year half as long as an ECHL season) in his sophomore and junior seasons at MSU. He returned for his senior year and had two goals and 12 assists in 2013-14. He has participated in the Red Wings’ development camp each of the last two seasons.
“Dean is a passionate and competitive player that is willing to earn his position in professional hockey,” Fuel head coach Scott Hillman said in a team release. “We believe players with heart and drive like Dean’s will make us a difficult team to play against in our inaugural season.”
Dean is the son of Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios, who played with the Canadiens, Blackhawks, Red Wings and Thrashers during a 26-year NHL career. Dean is no stranger to the spotlight — he made his first national TV appearance in 1989 with his father and Don Cherry. And, of course, his father having retired from the NHL within the last decade, brings out questions as to whether he’d want to play with his sons.
The roster is beginning to fill out, as Chelios becomes the ninth player to join the Fuel. He is the sixth rookie and the seventh to have played four years of NCAA hockey. ECHL teams are allowed to carry 20 players, and the Fuel expect to get between six and eight players from the parent Chicago Blackhawks & the AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs. Of the remaining roster spots available, three can be allotted to veterans (players with more than 260 games of pro hockey experience).
Toledo TV profile on Dean & brother Jake Chelios from the spring:
Fuel roster as of July 28
Rhett Bly (R). 5-10, 185. Age 24. Shoots L. 2013-14: Merrimack College (NCAA)
Dean Chelios (R). 6-2, 185. Age: 25. Shoots L. 2013-14: Michigan State University (NCAA)/Toledo Walleye (ECHL)
Garrett Klotz (V). 6-6, 250. Age: 25. Shoots L. 2013-14: Allen Americans (CHL)
Taylor Law (R). 6-2, 200. Age: 24. Shoots L. 2013-14: Canisius (NCAA)/Elmira Jackals (ECHL)
Pete Massar (R). 5-9, 180. Age 25. Shoots R. 2013-14: University of Vermont (NCAA)/Missouri Mavericks (CHL)
Kenton Miller. 6-0, 196. Age: 23. Shoots L. 2013-14: Utah/Fort Wayne (ECHL)
Cory Thorson (R). 6-2, 200. Age: 24. Shoots L. 2013-14: St. Cloud State (NCAA)
Anders Franzon. 6-3, 196. Age 25. Shoots R. 2013-14: Missouri Mavericks (CHL)
Zach Sternberg (R). 6-0, 187. Age 23. Shoots R. 2013-14: Lake Superior State (NCAA)