KALAMAZOO — With training camp set to get underway next week, the Kalamazoo Wings are putting the finishing touches on their preseason roster.
With 10 players already signed, the K-Wings announced the signings of Dustin Cloutier, Eric Kattelus and Aaron Schmit.
Cloutier returns to Kalamazoo to begin his first full season as a member of the K-Wings. Joining the team in late December, Cloutier began last season with the Augusta RiverHawks of the SPHL. In 20 games with the RiverHawks, Cloutier scored 10 goals and added 23 assists.
Continuing to put up impressive numbers with the K-Wings, Cloutier knocked in 23 goals and had 10 assists in 45 games. In just his third game as a K-Wing, Cloutier scored two goals and added an assist against the Cincinnati Cyclones and was the first K-Wing to net a hat trick last season against the Toledo Walleye on March 18.
“His (Cloutier’s) work ethic earned him every minute of ice time he received last season,” said Nick Bootland, K-Wings director of hockey operations/head coach. “If he can pick up where he left off from a season ago, we expect him to push for an even larger role this season.”
Kattelus, last season’s Kalsee Credit Union’s Unsung Hero award winner, returns to the K-Wings for his second season in Kala-mazoo. A versatile player, Kattelus spent time playing at both the forward and defense positions. In 68 games, Kattelus scored 10 goals and 22 assists.
Kattelus found his way into the record book last season when he scored the quickest goal in the K-Wings ECHL history and second overall scoring just seven seconds into the Pink Ice Game versus the Cyclones.
“No matter what position he played last year, he was one of our best players,” said Bootland. “His effort a season-ago moves him into a position to be one of our top six forwards.”
Completing his collegiate career at Ferris State University, Schmit will be entering his first season as a professional.
Schmit was a defenseman until his junior season at FSU when he became a forward. Last season, Schmit and the Bulldogs earned a trip to their first-ever NCAA Frozen Four appearance. In addition, Schmit was named as the team’s Steve Banonis Memorial Most Improved Player and Scholar-Athlete Award winner.
“In college, he (Schmit) was a big physical reliable forward,” said Bootland. “Watching him play in college and examining his skill set, we expect him to be a better pro.”
The K-Wings will face the Toledo Walleye on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Borgess Ice Rink at Wings West in Kalamazoo