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Komets add defense, scoring with pair

Krug played for Fort Wayne in 2011; roster now at 18


– The Komets were in need of a defenseman who can score and play physically.

They got one Wednesday in Matt Krug, and he should be familiar to Komets fans. He played for Fort Wayne in 2011 in the CHL, tallying one goal, two points and 24 penalty minutes in 11 games.

Last season, the 6-foot, 212-pound, 29-year-old Krug skated with the Evansville IceMen of the ECHL and had 12 goals, 37 points and 231 penalty minutes in 69 games.

“Komets fans will really enjoy having Matt back in a Komets uniform,” said general manager David Franke, who also signed playmaking center Paul Crowder.

“(Krug) will bring hard-nosed physical play, as well as the ability to contribute offensively. Last year in the ECHL, he was one of the top 10 of all scoring defensemen. And Matt also had 19 major penalties, which was second in the league.”

Crowder, 29, spent last season with the Cincinnati Cyclones, who eliminated Fort Wayne in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

He had 16 goals and 48 points in 64 games. He also played four games in the higher-level American Hockey League with the Milwaukee Admirals, bringing him to 111 career games in the AHL dating back to 2008.

In 2012-13, he skated against Fort Wayne with the Wheeling Nailers and had 23 goals and 62 points in 68 games.

“Paul was heavily recruited by (coach) Gary Graham and myself and we both feel that Paul will be a major contributor to the team,” Franke said. “We have played against Paul the last two seasons and always had a lot of respect for his play. He is the center man we have been looking for.”

The Komets’ roster is up to 18 players, including forwards Brett Beebe, Mike Embach, Angelo Esposito, Eric Faille, Thomas Frazee, Alex Hudson, Christian Ouellet, Lincoln Kaleigh Schrock, Shawn Szydlowski and Greg Wolfe, defensemen Ian Barteaux, Drew Daniels, William Lacasse, Matthew Maione and Cody Sol, plus goaltender Pat Nagle.

“Matt Krug and Paul Crowder will give us a solid veteran presence in our locker room, which is vitally important,” Franke said.

The Komets haven’t received any players from their parent clubs, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters.

The pool of available players improved Wednesday, when the CHL’s Denver Cutthroats announced they were suspending operations and all their players would become free agents.

The Cutthroats were also a Double-A affiliate of the Komets.