UTICA, N.Y. - The Utica Comets signed a pair of forwards today, inking Ryan Schmelzer and Samuel Laberge to AHL deals for the 2021-22 season, announced Tuesday.
The 24-year-old Laberge, a Chateauguay, Quebec native, spent last season in the ECHL with the Allen Americans where he scored 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points, tying him for fourth on the team.
He has prior AHL experience, playing parts of two seasons with the Texas Stars from 2017-19, where he had 22 points in 97 games.
A 6'2", 205 lbs. player who is no stranger to dropping the gloves, Laberge won the Humanitarian of the Year award in two straight seasons (2015-16, 2016-17) while playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Schmelzer, 27, has spent the past three seasons in the New Jersey Devils organization with Binghamton.
A Buffalo native, Schmelzer has 23 goals and 32 assists for 55 points in 133 AHL games for the Devils. He was an alternate captain for Binghamton last season.
Prior to his pro career, he played four seasons of NCAA Division I hockey at Canisius College where he had 40 goals and 66 assists for 106 points in 143 games. He was a captain of the Golden Griffins in his senior year.
The Comets full 2021-22 season schedule has yet to be released, but the team will hold its first home opener as an affiliate of the Devils on October 17, which is 34 years to the day from the debut of the Utica Devils in 1987.