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The Journal Gazette

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Komets’ Stephen Dhillon defends the goal during the first period against the Wheeling Nailers at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019 1:20 pm

Komets to carry 24, including 3 goalies

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets decided today to carry three goaltenders to start the season -- Dylan Ferguson, Cole Kehler and Stephen Dhillon.

Dhillon is a distant third in the pecking order, since Ferguson is here courtesy of the Vegas Golden Knights and Kehler from the Los Angeles Kings. But the Komets feel Dhillon has tremendous upside, and the uncertainty of having two NHL-contracted goalies who could be called up at any time makes it comforting to have a third netminder in town.

“We’ve got our two on the NHL contracts, and they’ll get first priority, there’s no question about that,” Komets coach Ben Boudreau said. “But Stephen Dhillon is a great prospect and we don’t want to let him go. There are conversations we still have to have organizationally and internally, and with our affiliates, on how it’s all going to play out. But we’ve got ourselves a really good goaltender that we don’t want to just let go right now.”

When training camp opened Sept. 30, the belief was the Komets’ roster would have to be pared down to about 20 or 21 players. But the roster that will be turned into the ECHL at 3 p.m. will have 24.

Two things made that possible -- injuries and workable salaries.

The Komets can carry up to 21 players on their active roster (that drops to 20 after 30 days) and two on reserve, but only if they can keep it under the weekly salary cap of $13,780 ($13,300 after 30 days). So having 13 rookies may help in that respect.

Boudreau said two players will start the season on injured reserve. Brad Ross, Matt Brassard and Anthony Petruzzelli have been out with injuries.

Remember, Brycen Martin, Brett McKenzie and Olivier Galipeau are with Chicago of the American Hockey League and could return at any time. 

jcohn@jg.net