K-Wings add four
Kalamazoo, Mich. - The roster of the Kalamazoo Wings continues to grow as the team has signed defensemen Joe Sova and Brandon Martell, as well as forwards Ray Kaunisto and Anthony Maiani.
Sova re-joins the K-Wings after splitting last season in the ECHL with the Reading Royals and the San Francisco Bulls. Two seasons ago, Sova spent a majority of the season with the K-Wings. A prospect of the New Jersey Devils, Sova was traded at the NHL trade deadline to the Carolina Hurricanes. After the trade, Sova spent the remainder of the regular season in the American Hockey League with the Charlotte Checkers. Following the regular season, Sova headed back to the ECHL to lend a helping hand to the Florida Everblades in capturing the 2012 Kelly Cup title.
A native of Berwyn, Illinois, Sova spent three seasons playing collegiate hockey at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, totaling 58 points (13g-45a). Before heading to college, Sova played three seasons of junior hockey in the USHL, including the 2007-08 season when he was a member of the USHL champions, Omaha Lancers.
Martell, who played the final three games of last season with the K-Wings, is entering his first full season of professional hockey. Martell was a four-year standout, as well as a three-time Scholar Athlete, at Ohio State University. The defenseman was also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Prior to joining the Buckeyes, Martell played two seasons of junior hockey, including the 2008-09 season, when he was a member of the North American Hockey League’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs, where he posted 18 points (4g-14a) in 46 games and earned a spot in the NAHL Prospect Tournament.
Adding some experience up front, the K-Wings have added forward Ray Kaunisto. A four-year pro, Kaunisto played last year in the ECHL with the Colorado Eagles notching 23 points (7g-16a) in 53 games. Over the past three seasons, Kaunisto has played 135 out of his 188 games in the AHL, primarily with the Manchester Monarchs, and has reached the playoffs every single year.
A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Kaunisto stayed close to home for college. He played four seasons at Northern Michigan University. Following his senior season, Kaunisto signed an entry-level deal with the Los Angeles Kings. Before heading to college, Kaunisto played three seasons of junior hockey, including the 2004-05 season, where he recorded 40 points (20g-20a) for the Soo Indians. He finished second on his team in scoring and was selected to the NAHL’s All-Rookie Team.
A third-year pro, Maiani found his scoring groove last season in the Central Hockey League with the Allen Americans. Maiani posted 55 points (17g-38a) in 60 regular-season contests for the Americans. Continuing to produce in the playoffs, Maiani registered seven points (2g-5a) in 13 games to help Allen capture the CHL championship. Two seasons ago, Maiani spent his rookie season in the ECHL splitting time with the Colorado Eagles, South Carolina Stingrays and Chicago Express.
Before turning pro, Maiani played collegiate hockey at the University of Denver. He also played junior hockey in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers. With the Pioneers, Maiani led the team in points and assists during his senior year. Maiani received the Bob Martin Memorial Award for Community Service. Maiani was also named to the WCHA All-Academic and WCHA Final Five All-Tournament Teams.