The Indy Fuel have made their first two roster moves for 2015-16, re-signing forward Rhett Bly and signing rookie forward Casey Thrush.
Bly will be a second-year member of the Fuel. The left wing played primarily a second/third line role last season, and tallied 12 goals and 21 assists, appearing in 70 games as a professional rookie. The Merrimack College graduate was the team’s fifth-leading goal scorer and was sixth overall in points in the Fuel’s inaugural season. He is a heady, hard-working winger who has played in a variety of roles with the team. He was named the team’s top penalty killer a year ago. The 25-year-old came to the Fuel last season after four years at Merrimack College.
“Rhett had a tremendous rookie season and showed some real offensive upside,” Fuel coach Scott Hillman said in a team release Monday. “He’s an energy player with great heart, hustle and character and we look forward to increased production from him in year two.”
Thrush joins the Fuel after playing four years at the University of New Hampshire. He had six goals and 19 assists in 40 games for UNH last year, and was +12. He is a 6-1, 185-pound left-shot forward. He had 20 goals and 43 assists in 151 college games over four years at UNH. He also had 28 points in 59 games for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks in 2010-11. He was an alternate captain at UNH last season. He is a two-way forward who has been used in both a defensive and top-line role in college. He was the Wildcats’ fifth-leading scorer last season. He is a 23-year-old forward from Eaton, Maryland. (Thrush’s hockeyDB page | Thrush’s UNH profile | Manchester Union-Leader feature) .
“Casey is a hard-working young forward willing to do the little things to earn his position in the pro game,” Hillman said in a team release. “He takes pride in the defensive end of the ice, but has shown flashes of offensive ability as well that should allow him to transition well to the professional level.”
More about the 2015-16 roster will be revealed later this week when the Fuel and the ECHL teams release their eight-man qualifying offer lists. That essentially serves as the team’s protected list for the 2015-16 season.