Fort Wayne, Ind. - The Fort Wayne Komets announced that three players have inked agreements to return to the Fort Wayne roster for 2018-19. Forward and team captain Jamie Schaafsma and defensemen Jason Binkley and Ryan Lowney have each agreed to terms.
Schaafsma, 35, will be entering his 15th career year and fourth with Fort Wayne. The skater has been the Komets captain in each of the past three seasons and will serve his third year as player/assistant coach. Schaafsma started his pro career skating five seasons in Europe. His first pro season in North America was with the Flint Generals during 2009-10 scoring career highs of 30 goals and 35 assists for 65 points in 75 International Hockey League games before returning to Europe for two seasons in Italy. The Chatham, Ontario native then returned to the United States in 2013 and collected three straight league championships with the Allen Americans, two in the Central Hockey League and one in the ECHL, before first joining the Komets in 2015-16. Last year, Schaafsma scored 27 points (12g-15a) in 48 regular-season games and added seven points (5g-2a) in 18 playoff games.
Binkley, 26, will be returning for a third year in Fort Wayne and his fourth as a pro. Last season, the Powell, Ohio native matched his career high of seven goals and led Fort Wayne defensemen for the second straight year with 27 assists and ranked third with 34 points. Binkley was honored with the Unsung Hero's Award for the year before leading Komet defensemen in the playoffs with seven assists, 10 points and +5 in 18 postseason games.
Lowney, 24, will also be returning for his third season in Fort Wayne. The Redford, Michigan native first joined the Komets in March 2017 and finished the year appearing in 14 games before adding eight playoff games. During 2017-18, Lowney logged his first full pro season scoring 26 points (7g-19a) and ranked fourth among league rookies with a +22 in 60 games. The defenseman earned the Komets Most Improved Player Award before skating all 18 playoff games adding five points (2g-3a).