INDIANAPOLIS – A 6’0”, 188 lb., right-handed shooting forward and Detroit, Michigan native, Robert Czarnik singed with the Indy Fuel for the 2014-15 ECHL season, the team announced Thursday. A third-round selection of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (63rd overall), Czarnik spent the past three seasons with the Kings’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, before wrapping up the 2013-14 season with six games played for the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
“Rob is a highly skilled forward who’s shown great goal-scoring ability throughout his career,” said Fuel Head Coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations Scott Hillman on Thursday. “He really developed into a complete forward during his time in the AHL and we’re looking to use him in all types of key situations this year…we expect him to be one of the leaders of this team.”
In three AHL seasons, primarily with Manchester from 2011 to 2014, Czarnik posted 13 goals, 34 total points and 85 penalty minutes in 135 appearances. Prior to his professional career, Czarnik, 24, was a better than point-per-game player in two seasons in Canadian Major Junior hockey for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 2009 to 2011. In 104 career OHL games, Czarnik notched 50 goals and 126 points, along with 74 penalty minutes. Following two years with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team from 2006 to 2008, Czarnik played two seasons of NCAA hockey for the University of Michigan in the CCHA Conference. In 51 career collegiate appearances, Czarnik registered eight goals and 22 combined points.
“It’s been a long summer and it feels good to know where I’m going this season,” said Czarnik Thursday. “[Playing for Indy] is great because Rockford and Chicago will be paying close attention and in terms of the team, being a guy with AHL experience, hopefully I can help some of the younger guys adjust from the college game to the pro game.”
A self-described “speedy forward,” Czarnik says he can play both center and right-wing and is responsible in all three zones. “I’m a quicker guy and I’ve tried to use that to my advantage at both ends of the ice,” explained Czarnik. “I’m definitely looking to generate offense when I’m out there, but I pride myself on playing a well-rounded game.”
In 2014-15, the Indy Fuel, the proud “AA” affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, drop the puck on their first season in the ECHL. Season ticket packages for the Fuel’s inaugural campaign are available now starting at just under $12 per game! To reserve your seats, contact the Fuel today at (317) 925-FUEL or log on to www.indyfuelhockey.com for more information. Be sure to follow the Fuel on Twitter @IndyFuel and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the official “Indy Fuel” fan page on Facebook.