If the Komets skate this season – very much in question at this point – they’ll have two Fort Wayne natives on their roster.
The team today signed Jackson Leef, a 28-year-old forward whose father, Ron, was so good he was inducted into the Komets’ Hall of Fame.
Jackson Leef would join Fort Wayne's Blake Siebenaler, a 24-year-old defenseman, who played last season for the Wheeling Nailers, in the lineup.
Jackson Leef played in 62 games last season with Brampton, totaling 17 goals and 33 points. It was his third season with Brampton, with which he re-signed over the summer. However, the Beast is one of the eight teams that have opted out of this season amid the coronavirus pandemic, and he was made a free agent.
The Komets, along with Toledo, Cincinnati, Kalamazoo and Idaho, haven’t yet made a decision on whether they will play. They have been targeting a Jan. 15 start date, though there is a push from some of those teams to push their start back to February.
The Komets' roster is up to 22 players, including Shawn Szydlowski, Marco Roy, A.J. Jenks and Olivier Galipeau.
Jackson Leef, who played junior hockey in the United States and North American Hockey leagues, was a standout for Westfield State University from 2013 to 2017. As a senior, he was the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year with 19 goals and 40 points in 26 games, and he has a business degree with a minor in marketing.
He captained Westfield State.
Between 2017 and 2018, Jackson Leef also played for Knoxville, Peoria and Evansville of the Single-A Southern Professional Hockey League, but he carved a niche with Brampton, then coached by former Komets captain Colin Chaulk, as an effective two-way player.
He has one game of experience at the higher-level American Hockey League with Laval.
“Jackson is a utility player every team needs,” Komets coach Ben Boudreau said. “He is a two-way player with a great sense for the game that’s necessary to play in all situations.
“He has had a history of scoring big goals and making defensive plays, which makes him a coveted asset to any team in the league. His professionalism and dedication off the ice will be an excellent addition inside the locker room.”
Ron Leef, a center, skated for the Komets from 1981 to 1987, including a scintillating 1982-83 season of 57 goals and 120 points.
He was inducted in the Komets’ Hall of Fame in 2018.
Ron and Jackson Leef wouldn’t become the first father-son tandem to play for the Komets. They would join Bob and Bobby Phillips, as well as Al Sims and son Jordan.