INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks and the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs, announced that they have signed forwards Ryan Rupert and Matt Rupert to contracts for the 2018-19 season.
The twin brothers make their return to Indy after starting the season with the Sheffield Steelers of the Elite Ice Hockey League.
The 24-year-olds from Grand Bend, Ontario signed with the Steelers in the offseason, playing four games in the United Kingdom before being released from their contracts and returning to North America. Ryan and Matt finished third and seventh respectively on the Fuel’s scoring list last season, combining for 36 goals and 53 points along with 210 penalty minutes during their first full season in Indianapolis together.
Ryan was named the Fuel’s Most Valuable Player in 2017-18 after setting career highs in goals (17), assists (32), points (49) and power-play goals (7) in 65 games played. He finished second in the ECHL, and set a new club record, with four shorthanded goals, while his four game-winning tallies finished tied for second among Indy skaters. In addition to his offensive impact, Ryan brought a physical presence to the Fuel lineup, finishing third on the team with 120 penalty minutes.
Entering his fourth professional season, Ryan has recorded 89 points (34g-55a) and 165 penalty minutes in 118 ECHL games with the Fuel, Wichita Thunder and Orlando Solar Bears. A sixth-round selection (157th overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, he has also seen action in 149 AHL games with the Toronto Marlies and Binghamton Senators, logging 58 points (31g-27a).
Back for his third season in Indianapolis, Matt finished the 2017-18 campaign with a career high 40 points (19g-21a), tacking on four power-play goals and four game-winning tallies. He has missed only one game since arriving in Indy before the 2016-17 season, and has earned the Fuel’s Penalty Killer Award in each of the previous two years. Matt begins the season ranked second in team history in both total games played (143) and goals (40), while his 77 points in a Fuel uniform rank third all-time.
The third-year pro has accumulated 96 points (51g-45a) and 194 penalty minutes in 196 total ECHL contests with Indy and the Orlando Solar Bears. Following a successful stint with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights from 2011-15, Matt began his professional career during a two game AHL stint with the Marlies at the end of the 2014-15 season.