The Journal Gazette
Monday, August 12, 2019 4:30 pm

K's blue liners get bigger, younger

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets’ defensive corps is being almost entirely rebuilt by new coach Ben Boudreau, who has re-signed only Jason Binkley and Chase Stewart from last season’s blue-liners, but the Komets added two interesting young pieces today.

They signed Olivier Galipeau and Brycen Martin, bringing the Komets’ total roster to 15 players so far.

It's clear that Boudreau is trying to add some size to the blue line -- Stewart is 6-foot-3, Martin 6-2, Galipeau 6 feet -- and a lot of youth to the overall roster. I have heard very little about adding more veterans, unless we throw in the A.J. Jenks possibility there. (On Jenks, one of the big concerns is his injury history, and those injuries, I'm told, include knee, concussion and groin, so that's no small worry in hockey.)

Galipeau, 22, is coming off a rookie season with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators in which he had six goals, 23 points, 20 penalty minutes and a minus-14 rating. He also played five American Hockey League games with Providence.

That he was in the Boston Bruins' organization last season on an AHL deal was a bit controversial in the Quebec area, since it was assumed he would wind up in the Montreal Canadiens organization and then went to their rivals. 

Galipeau, 6 feet, 203 pounds, had 10 goals and 34 points in his final season of juniors, 2017-18, with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, which he helped to the Memorial Cup, Canada’s junior championship, with five goals and 20 points in 20 playoff games.

He also was selected Defenseman of the Year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2018, having had 25 goals and 74 points in 67 regular-season games with Acadie-Bathurst and Chicoutimi combined.

He played for Val d’Ors in 2013-14, when it won the QMJHL championship.

From my sources around hockey, his offensive capabilities are very good. His skating and defense are a work in progress.

Martin, 23, skated 54 games last season with the Maine Mariners and totaled seven goals, 28 points, 79 penalty minutes and a minus-11 rating. Martin, 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, has also played in the ECHL for Cincinnati and Elmira, accruing four goals, 18 points, 30 penalty minutes and a minus-20 rating in 95 games.

Martin was a third-round draft pick of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres in 2014. He has played 19 games in the AHL with Rochester.

The Komets have five defensemen so far, including Eric Israel, a rookie out of Robert Morris University.

Other players to sign so far with the Komets include returning forwards Shawn Szydlowski, Brady Shaw and Anthony Petruzzelli, and rookie goaltender Stephen Dhillon, though the recently renewed affiliation agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights should ensure at least a goalie. The Los Angeles Kings may provide another one.

The Komets open the regular season Oct. 12 at Memorial Coliseum against the Kalamazoo Wings.

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