The Indy Fuel added the rights to two players this week to complete future considerations trades ahead of the end of the ECHL calendar year.
The Fuel added the rights to forward Harrison Ruopp and defenseman Shane Bakker in the two moves.
Ruopp comes as the final piece of a trade that sent Tyler Barnes’ ECHL playing rights to Allen in exchange for the ECHL rights to Jake Marchment late in the season. Meanwhile, Bakker is dealt to Indy from the Atlanta Gladiators as part of a trade for Ben Marshall’s ECHL playing rights from October. Marshall had signed with the AHL’s Providence Bruins – with whom the Gladiators are affiliated – and so the Fuel traded his ECHL playing rights for future considerations.
The Fuel hold both players’ ECHL playing rights and may negotiate exclusively with them until June 30. They may give qualifying offers to up to eight unsigned players and protect their ECHL playing rights on June 30.
The moves came in advance of the final 20-man end-of-season rosters being presented. ECHL teams may now begin signing players for the 2017-18 season. Teams may begin signing players for the upcoming season. All ECHL contracts are one-year deals.
Ruopp has completed four full pro seasons, and has played 43 AHL games and 126 ECHL games. He spent his first three years in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL and Wheeling in the ECHL. The 2016-17 season was spent primarily with Allen, with three games with AHL San Jose. A third-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Ruopp is a right-shot stay-at-home defenseman who has a goal and 16 assists in his pro career. He is 24 years old, having come to pro hockey after playing junior in the WHL.
Bakker is a 29-year-old forward who had 18 points and 86 penalty minutes in 51 games with Atlanta last season. He, too, has played four full pro seasons, with 167 ECHL and 28 AHL games on his resume, tallying 17 goals and 41 assists. He is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound left shot who came to the ECHL after playing Junior A and college hockey in Canada. He has played for Wheeling and Atlanta in the ECHL and Providence, St. John’s and Hamilton in the AHL.
Earlier in the week, the Fuel traded the playing rights of Cason Hohmann to Norfolk to complete a deal for Adam Phillips, and also dealt Phillips to Orlando to complete a trade for Brock Montgomery.
The ECHL will announce the season-ending rosters – which were submitted Friday – in the coming days. The Fuel may name up to 20 players – including Bakker and Ruopp – to the roster, and then may begin re-signing players from that roster and the team’s protected list until June 30. On June 30, the team may protect up to eight players from the season-ending roster. The Fuel have 22 players from their protected list or received from trades they may place on the season-ending roster.
Players on AHL or NHL contracts are exempt from the season-ending rosters and protected lists. All are free agents except Kenton Helgesen, who was acquired by the Blackhawks in a deadline trade and is a restricted free agent.
Updated protected list (V-Veteran, R-Rookie)
Active players at the end of the 2016-17 season (15): Travis Armstrong, Zach Miskovic (V), Troy Vance, Chris Williams, Brandon Martell, Nick Bligh, Matt Rupert, Josh Shalla (V), Paul Zanette, Alex Wideman, Kenny Ryan (V), Woody Hudson (R), Michael Neal (V), Shane Bakker, Harrison Ruopp
Players who were not active with Fuel at end of 2016-17, but played with team (7): Drew Schiestel (V), Jacob Poe, Cody Sharib, Kevin Lynch (V), Marek Tvrdon, Anthony Beauregard, Brady Ramsay (signed in Europe)
Players extended qualifying offers in 2016: (not eligible for end-of-season roster) Anders Franzon, Rhett Bly, Mikhail Stefanovich, Darian Dziuryzinski
Not eligible for protected list/season-ending roster (played in ECHL on AHL or NHL contracts) (9): Jake Hildebrand (RFD), Eric Levine (RFD), Nick Mattson (RFD), Robin Press (RFD), Chris DeSousa (RFD), Dillon Fournier (CHI-Retired), Kenton Helgesen (CHI), Jake Marchment (SJ), Evan Mosey (RFD) (RFD-Rockford IceHogs; CHI-Chicago Blackhawks; SJ-San Jose Barracuda)