K-Wings sign first three players of season
September 3, 2013 by Mark McGlothlen
Kalamazoo Wings have been clamoring for weeks, wondering when the K-Wings would announce the signings of players for the upcoming season.
The wait is over.
The K-Wings announced the signings of three players, all of whom have previous ties to the team.
Last year’s team captain, Elgin Reid, will be returning for his third season with the team. Reid scored 10 goals and 23 assists last season, ranking second in scoring for defensemen on the K-Wings’ blue line.
“Elgin has been a leader for our team the past two years,” said K-Wings Coach Nick Bootland in a statement released by the team. “He possesses the practice habits that can make the players around him excel.”
Reid was named as last season’s Harold Zeigler Auto Group’s Defenseman of the Year.
Returning for his fifth season as a K-Wing is last year’s assistant captain, defenseman Sam Ftorek.
“He (Ftorek) is the ultimate team-first player, who will do anything to help his team win,” said Bootland. “Sam’s skill set will be a valuable assist on the power-play.”
Ftorek has played in 918 regular season games as a professional, 266 of those as a K-Wing. Ftorek is currently the ECHL’s active leader in games played with 697 and is tied with Wes Goldie for third place in all-time games played in the league.
Last season, Ftorek scored nine goals and 27 assists and was given the Pepsi Sportsmanship Award.
Forward Justin Taylor, who was traded just 11 games into last season, is returning the K-Wings this season.
Taylor, who with the K-Wings and the Idaho Steelheads, reached the conference finals each of the past three seasons.
“Justin brings excitement to our locker room,” said Bootland. “As a younger player, he has leadership qualities and knows how to compete in practice and sticks up for players.”
In Taylor’s first two seasons with the K-Wings, he scored 48 goals and 46 assists and was named as the Rookie of the Year in his first season with the team.
In preparation for the regular season and to give all players a chance to shine in order to make the team, the K-Wings will play three preseason games.
Training camp will kick off on Oct. 7 and the K-Wings will play their first preseason game on Wednesday, Oct. 9, as the Toledo Walleye make the trip to Wings Stadium.
On Friday, Oct. 11, the K-Wings will host the Fort Wayne Komets in a game that will be held in The Annex as Wings Stadium. The K-Wings will then travel to Toledo to take on the Walleye the following night.