The Indy Fuel announced Tuesday the team has agreed to terms with returning forward Michael Colantone and added forward Matt Rupert.
Both played their first pro seasons in the ECHL last season, and both projected to double-digit goal scoring totals.
Colantone joined the Fuel in December after starting the season at UMass-Lowell. He had nine goals and 17 points in 40 games, and also was a plus-2. He was a critical piece of the Fuel’s power play and penalty kill, and is a versatile player, with the ability to play both center and wing.
At UML, he had 13 goals and 26 points in 78 college games.
“We are glad to have Mike back with us this year. He is coming off of a good rookie season and we look forward to see if he can build off that,” Fuel coach Bernie John said in a team release. “He has good upside on his offensive game to add to our scoring efforts, and he knows exactly what system we want to play.”
Rupert is a left wing who played last season with the Orlando Solar Bears. He had 11 goals and 19 points in 53 games, but had a substantial scoring touch in junior. He had three straight 25-goal seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, playing for the London Knights. There, he had 105 goals and 124 assists in 240 games, including 26 goals in 2012-13, 33 goals in 2013-14, and 30 goals and 75 points in his final season of 2014-15. He won two OHL titles in London.
“We’re excited to have Matt join the Fuel this season. He plays a hard game and has a knack for the net,” John said in a team release. “He played for one the best if not best Major Junior organizations in North America in London, enjoying an excellent junior career with solid numbers and a winning tradition. He’s not afraid to get his nose dirty and drive other teams crazy.”
The signings give the Fuel 14 players under contract for the 2016-17 season, including 10 forwards. Colantone joins Justin Hussar, Cody Sharib, Zach Miskovic, Keegan Asmundson and Terry Shafer in returning to the Fuel from the 2015-16 season.
Matt Rupert scores in the AHL in 2015.
2016-17 Fuel roster
- (R) Anthony Beauregard (5-11, 163, St. Hyancithe, Quebec). Age: 20. Shoots: R. 2015-16: Val d’Or (QMJHL)
- Martin Bellus (6-3, 209, Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia). Age: 24. Shoots: R. 2015-16 team: Piestany SHK 37 (Slovakia)
- Michael Colantone (5-11, 205, Brooklyn, N.Y.). Age: 24. Shoots: R. 2015-16 team: UMass-Lowell (NCAA)/Indy Fuel (ECHL)
- Raphael Corriveau (6-4, 203, Levis, Quebec). Age: 22. Shoots: R. 2015-16 team: Morzine-Avoriaz (France)
- Tyler Currier (6-2, 206, Anchorage, Ak.). Age: 28. Shoots: R. 2015-16 team: Elmira Jackals (ECHL)
- (R) Justin Hussar (6-2, 190, Lancaster, N.Y.). Age: 23. Shoots: L. 2015-16 team: Merrimack (NCAA)/Indy Fuel (ECHL)
- Kevin Lynch (6-1, 205, Grosse Pointe, Mich.). Age: 25. Shoots: R. 2015-16 team: Florida Everblades (ECHL)
- Matt Rupert (5-9, 188, Grand Bend, Ont.). Age: 22. Shoots: L. 2015-16 team: Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL)
- Cody Sharib (6-2, 209, Needham, Mass). Age: 25. Shoots: L. 2015-16 team: Indy Fuel (ECHL)
- Alex Wideman (5-7, 150, St. Louis, Mo.). Age: 24. Shoots: L. 2015-16 team: Evansville IceMen (ECHL)/Binghamton Senators (AHL)
- (V) Zach Miskovic 6-1, 197, River Forest, Ill.). Age: 31. Shoots: R. 2015-16 team: Indy Fuel (ECHL)/Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
- Matt Stanisz (6-1, 205, Burlington, Ont.). Age: 26. Shoots: R. 2015-16 team: Florida Everblades (ECHL)
- Keegan Asmundson (6-5, 222, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.). Age: 25. Catches: L. 2015-16 team: Indy Fuel (ECHL)
- Terry Shafer (6-2, 190, Penfield, NY). Age: 25. Catches: L. 2015-16 team: Robert Morris (NCAA)/Indy Fuel (ECHL)
2015-16 end-of-season roster players who have signed elsewhere/been traded
- Anders Franzon (Sheffield, Britain); Patrick Koudys (Rouen, France); Matt White (Sheffield, Britain); Rhett Bly (Grenoble, France); Peter Schneider (Florida Everblades); Kevin Clare (Florida Everblades), Colin Murray (Elmira Jackals)
2015-16 end-of-season roster players whose plans have yet to be announced (players with qualifying offers are denoted)
- Rob De Fulviis, Darian Dziurzynski (QO), Alex Lavoie (QO), Mikhail Stefanovich (QO), Trevor Campbell, Ben Marshall (QO), Nick Petrecki (QO)