INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel, proud ECHL affiliates of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, announced Wednesday that three former veterans of professional hockey, Bernie John, Jan Jas and Derek Edwardson, have been named Assistant Coaches for the team’s inaugural season. John, a former blueliner, will work with the Fuel’s defensive corps while Jas and Edwardson will focus on Indy’s forward group.
“We are thrilled to announce the additions of Bernie, Jan and Derek as Assistant Coaches,” said Fuel Head Coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations Scott Hillman on Wednesday. “Having three quality individuals as assistants gives us the ability to keep a developmental focus with our players…[All three assistants] will also play an active role in the local youth hockey community, a point we are very proud of.”
A native of Sudbury, Ontario, John enjoyed a 13-year professional playing career in the Colonial Hockey League (CoHL), the International Hockey League (IHL) and the Central Hockey League (CHL), including five seasons with the Indianapolis Ice from 1999 to 2004 in which John played 301 total games for the franchise and tallied 91 goals and 353 total points. During his tenure with the Ice, John served two years as a player-assistant coach and, along with Jas, helped the Ice claim the 2000 Ray Miron President’s Cup as CHL champions. Most recently, John, 42, served as an assistant coach with the USHL’s Indiana Ice during the 2013-14 season.
Jas spent parts of two seasons in Indianapolis from 1999 to 2001 with the CHL Ice as part of an 11-year pro career that also included stops in the ECHL, the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL), the Atlantic Coast Hockey League (ACHL), the United Hockey League (UHL), the IHL and top leagues in Austria and Italy. A Presov, Slovakia native, Jas, 36, will contribute to the Fuel’s strength and conditioning program, as well as work with Indy’s forwards. Most recently, Jas served as the head coach of the Indiana University ACHA club hockey team for the past four seasons and has worked as an assistant coach with the NAHL’s Port Huron Fighting Falcons.
A former captain and four-year letter winner at Miami (OH) University from 2000 to 2004, Edwardson most recently served as a graduate assistant coach with the RedHawks in the 2013-14 season. A native of Morton Grove, Illinois, Edwardson, 33, wrapped a nine-year professional playing career in 2012-13 after stints in the American Hockey League (AHL), the ECHL and leagues in Germany and Italy.
The Fuel also announced Wednesday that six players currently under ECHL contracts with the team were invited to appear in AHL training camps, beginning this week across the country. Forwards Garrett Klotz, Brett Perlini and Klarc Wilson, and defensemen Nick Bruneteau, were invited to participate in camp with the Fuel’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Additionally, forward Kenton Miller earned an invite to camp with the Manchester (NH) Monarchs, the primary affiliate of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, and forward Robert Czarnik appeared in camp with the Winnipeg Jets’ AHL club, the St. John’s IceCaps. Last week, Fuel winger Cory Thorson participated in the Chicago Blackhawks’ NHL rookie camp alongside Fuel Head Coach Scott Hillman.
The Fuel open their inaugural ECHL season on Friday, October 17th vs. the Fort Wayne Komets at 7:35 pm at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum. Join the Fuel prior to their opening night showdown with Fort Wayne for the “Fuel Fan Fest” from 5-7 pm on the Indiana State Fairgrounds! Single-game tickets for the Fuel’s 2014-15 campaign go on sale on Friday, October 3rd at 10:00 am via all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, under the “Single-Game Tickets” page on the Fuel’s official website, www.indyfuelhockey.com and at the Fairgrounds Coliseum box office during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Also on sale now for $10 are tickets to the Fuel’s lone preseason home game on October 12th vs. the Evansville IceMen. “Fuel Family Fun Day” on the 12th will feature a postgame autograph session and open skate with the team on the Coliseum ice. Skate rental will be available for $5 at the Coliseum Pro Shop on a first-come, first-served basis.
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 visit 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.