A 16-year veteran, Ftorek returns to Kalamazoo for his fifth season with the team. A leader on and off the ice, Ftorek has worn either the captain’s “C” or the alternate captain’s “A” in each of his seasons with the K-Wings. With 37 points (9g-28a) last year, Ftorek was the K-Wings most prolific scoring blue-liner. Ftorek, who has played 266 of his 918 regular season games in a K-Wings uniform, is the team’s reining Pepsi Sportsmanship Award recipient.
A staple in the ECHL, Ftorek, who is the league’s active leader in games played with 697, is tied for third with Wes Goldie for third place in all-time games played in league history. Coming from an excellent pedigree, Ftorek is the son of Robbie Ftorek, who played eight seasons in the National Hockey League with the Detroit Red Wings (2), Quebec Nordiques (3) and New York Rangers (3). The elder Ftorek also possesses an impressive coaching resume with 22 years experience, 10 of which was in the NHL.
Besides signing last season’s assistant captain, the K-Wings have added last year’s team-captain Elgin Reid. The defenseman returns to the team for his third season. Despite missing time due to injury, Reid ranked second amongst all K-Wing defensemen in scoring with 33 points (10g-23a).
While a majority of his career has been spent in the ECHL, Reid has also played in the AHL with the Albany River Rats and the Houston Aeros. Before turning pro, Reid played five seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League.
Taylor will be returning to the K-Wings for his fourth season. Traded 11 games into the season last year by the K-Wings, Taylor kept up his impressive playoff streak. The four-year pro has reached the Conference Finals in all three of his previous professional seasons, including last year with the Idaho Steelheads.
The K-Wings will be looking for Taylor to return to his scoring form of a few years ago. After being named team’s Rookie of the Year in 2010-11, there was no sophomore jinx for Taylor, who produced 46 points (23g-23a) in a team-high 70 games in 2011-12.
Before turning pro, the sixth-round selection (180th overall) of the Washington Capitals in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, was a member of the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.