Fort Wayne, Ind. - The Fort Wayne Komets announced that three players have agreed to terms and will be returning for the 2017-18 season. Forward Mason Baptista and defensemen Jason Binkley and Ryan Lowney become the first names to appear on the 66th Fort Wayne anniversary roster.
Baptista, 27, is expected to return for his third consecutive season with the Komets. The North York, Ontario native posted 30 points (16g-14a) in 56 games last year while adding two assists in five playoff games. Baptista made his pro debut in 2014-15 with Quad City scoring three points (2g-1a) in four ECHL games after completing a four-year collegiate career with St. Norbert. The forward skated 47 games with Wichita in 2015-16 before being acquired by the Komets in a trade. In 71 regular-season games over the past two seasons with Fort Wayne, Baptista has totaled 20 goals and 39 points.
Binkley, 25, appeared in 67 games with Fort Wayne last year scoring 44 points (7g-3a7) and adding three points (1g-2a) in 10 playoff games. The 2017-18 season will be his third full pro year since making his pro debut in the ECHL with South Carolina near the end of 2014-15 after finishing his fourth season of college play with Ferris State. Binkley logged 45 ECHL games between Utah and Cincinnati in 2015-16 before joining Fort Wayne for the 2016-17 campaign. The defenseman has scored ECHL totals of nine goals and 53 points in 119 games.
Lowney made his pro debut last season skating 14 games at the end of year with the Komets collecting six points (1g-5a) prior to dishing four assists in eight playoff games. The Redford, Mich. native completed a four-year stint with Ferris State last season and recorded collegiate totals of seven goals and 58 points in 158 games with the Bulldogs.