While the 2015-16 Indy Fuel roster will begin taking shape starting June 16 – when the team can begin signing players – a few have made plans for next year.
Defenseman Doug Jessey, who signed with the Fuel after finishing his college career at Canisius College, has signed with a team in France, as announced Thursday. Jessey played two games for the Fuel. He will play for the Brest Albatros in the French hockey league next season.
Forward Chris DeSousa, who gave the Fuel a substantial offensive spark, is moving up in the organization. He has signed a one-year deal with the Rockford IceHogs, the Fuel’s AHL affiliate, announced on Friday. Being in the organization, DeSousa could be loaned to Indy (as Jamie Wise, Kirill Gotovets and Justin Holl were loaned to the Fuel this year by Rockford), but the winger was impressive with 16 points in 20 games with the Fuel midseason after finishing his college career at the University of Prince Edward Island.
The Fuel will be able to begin re-signing players June 16 – the day after the end-of-season roster deadline. They can make qualifying offers to up to eight unsigned players from their protected list by June 30, and begin signing pro free agents July 1.
Being a developmental league, the ECHL sends players on to the AHL and NHL – as well as European pro hockey – every year. This past season, the Fuel had several players (Gotovets, Holl, Wise, Dillon Fournier, Mathieu Brisebois, Vincent Arseneau, Nick Jones, Mac Carruth) called up to AHL teams, which will open up spots for new free agents and young players coming from the junior and college hockey ranks. It’s going to be enjoyable over the next few years to follow these players through the organization as they matriculate to the AHL and eventually for some, the NHL, having seen many of them at their first pro stop.