Komets strengthen D with Tuzzolino, Olson

Fort Wayne, IN ---  The Komets announced Tuesday that defensemen Nick Tuzzolino and Drew Olson have been added to the 2013-14 preseason roster.

Tuzzolino (tuzz-uh-LEEN-oh), 27, will be entering his seventh pro year and it will be his second stint with Fort Wayne.  The 6-foot, 6-inch defenseman made his pro debut with the Komets when he appeared in six games during 2006-07 while a member of the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).  "Nick has been at the top of our priority list for the past month," Komet head coach Gary Graham said. "He has been that top veteran d-man we have been looking for that can play big minutes and in all situations. He is a character person first and foremost and we are excited to welcome him and his wife to the Fort."

Selected by the New York Islanders in round 7 of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Tuzzolino skated his first complete pro season with Flint in the International Hockey League (IHL) in 2007-08 scoring career highs of 10 goals, 34 assists and 44 points.  In 2008-09 he made his ECHL debut with Alaska and has skated in the ECHL the past five consecutive seasons.

The Buffalo, New York native first appeared in the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2010-11 scoring a goal and two points in 20 games with Portland while also serving ECHL stints with Wheeling and Utah.  Last season Tuzzolino led Utah defensemen with 31 assists, 5th among defensemen in the ECHL, and 36 points.  He also led ECHL defensemen with 21 power play assists while ranking fifth in the league with 160 penalty minutes.  Tuzzolino capped the year by being named an ECHL Second Team All Star.

Olson, 23, completed four seasons of college play last year with the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the WCHA scoring three goals, 21 points and 109 penalty minutes in 147 games.  The Brainerd, Minnesota native helped Minnesota-Duluth to the NCAA Championship in 2010-11.  "Drew will be one of the best skating d-men in the league this year," Graham said. "He got a lot of ice time for a top program at UMD and brings a physical approach to his game. He competes hard and is physical at the point of attack constantly. We are happy he chose Fort Wayne." 

Olson also made his pro debut last season scoring an assist in five AHL games with the Peoria Rivermen.  The defenseman was originally selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in round 4 of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft while a member of the Peoria Prancers in the United States Hockey League (USHL).  

The addition of Tuzzolino and Olson expands the Komets' preseason roster to 23 players including 13 forwards, nine defensemen and one goaltender.

The Komets will officially open the 2013-14 season at home against the Toledo Walleye Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30pm.  The Komets' 62nd season features 36 home games while 36 road games are scheduled.  View the entire 72-game schedule here.  

The Komets will also host one exhibition game when the Wheeling Nailers visit for a preseason tune-up Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:30pm at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Komet Hockey Season tickets for 2013-14 are on sale at the Komet office, 1010 Memorial Way in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  For ticket information visit komets.com or call the Komet office at 260-483-0011.