The Indy Fuel added speed and experience Thursday, announcing the signing of forward Robert Czarnik.
Czarnik is a three-year professional veteran, having played in the AHL for the Manchester Monarchs and, briefly, the Hamilton Bulldogs. He was a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, and spent much of his career in the Kings’ system. He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens late in the 2013-14 season.
He had 13 goals and 21 assists in 135 AHL games. Prior to his AHL career, he was a point-a-game scorer in the OHL, with 50 goals and 76 assists in a season and a half for the OHL Plymouth Whalers. He also spent two seasons with the U.S. NTDP program from 2006-08, and played a season and a half at the University of Michigan. He represented the United States in the 2008 World Junior Championships, tallying eight points in seven games as Team USA won bronze.
“Rob is a highly skilled forward who’s shown great goal-scoring ability throughout his career,” Fuel coach Scott Hillman said in a team release Thursday. “He really developed into a complete forward during his time in the AHL and we’re looking to use him in all types of key situations this year…we expect him to be one of the leaders of this team.”
Czarnik describes himself as a three-zone player with speed. “I’m a quicker guy and I’ve tried to use that to my advantage at both ends of the ice,” Czarnik told the team Thursday. “I’m definitely looking to generate offense when I’m out there, but I pride myself on playing a well-rounded game.”
While he will be one of the most experienced players on the roster, Czarnik does not fall above the ECHL’s 210-game minimum to constitute a “veteran.” Czarnik is a native of the Detroit area. He is a right-shot forward who can play center or right wing, and is 24 years old. He is the 11th forward and 15th player to be signed to the Fuel roster.
Indy Fuel roster as of Sept. 25
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)
Robert Czarnik. 6-0, 188. Age: 24. Shoots R. 2013-14: Manchester Monarchs/Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL)
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: Vermont (NCAA)/Missouri Mavericks (CHL)
Kenton Miller. 6-0, 196. Age: 23. Shoots L. 2013-14: Utah/Fort Wayne (ECHL)
Brett Perlini. 6-0, 202. Age: 24. Shoots L. 2013-14: Greenville Road Warriors/Toledo Walleye (ECHL)
Cory Thorson (R). 6-2, 200. Age: 24. Shoots L. 2013-14: St. Cloud State (NCAA)
Matt White (R). 6-2, 198. Age: 22. Shoots L. 2013-14: Vermont (NCAA)
Klarc Wilson (R). 6-2, 206. Age: 21. Shoots R. 2013-14: Prince George Cougars (WHL)
Nick Bruneteau (R). 5-10, 182. Age: 22. Shoots: R. 2013-14: Vermont (NCAA)/Reading Royals (ECHL)
Kyle Follmer (R). 5-10, 202. Age: 27. Shoots L. 2012-13: Northern Michigan (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)