Kalamazoo, MI- The Kalamazoo Wings, proud member of the ECHL and affiliate of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League, announce the signings of Andrew Fournier (four-KNEE-ay), Trent Daavettila (daav-UH-till-la), Patrick Asselin (as-lynn) and Anton Kharin (hah-REEN); per team policy, the terms of the contracts will be undisclosed.
A third-year pro, Fournier led the K-Wings last season in scoring by posting 71 points (27 goals, 44 assists) in 70 games last season. Fournier kept his scoring prowess in the Kelly Cup playoffs registering five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in five games.
“Coming off a career-year, Andrew has proven that he is an impact player,” said Nick Bootland, director of hockey operations/head coach. “He has been able to score at every level he has played at and, last season, he showed the tenacity that helped him win a championship in Junior “A”.
Highlighting his first season in Kalamazoo, Fournier tied a season-high and established a personal career-best with five-points on 12/12/09 versus the Wheeling Nailers. Fournier also recorded his first pro hat trick during that same contest.
During the season he went on a five-game assist streak from 01/02/10-01/13/10 and seven-game point streak from 12/31/09-01/13/09. Later in the season, Fournier matched his five point performance on 03/27/10 against the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Awarded the ECHL Sher-Wood Hockey Player of the Week in late March, Fournier also earned team accolades being named the McDonald’s Leading Scorer and the Meijer Most Improved Player awards during the K-Wings team award ceremony on 04/03/10.
Before coming to Kalamazoo, Fournier split his rookie season in the ECHL with the Florida Everblades and the Dayton Bombers racking up 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists) in 44 games.
The native of Amherstview, Ontario, Fournier played five seasons of Junior “A” hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the Plymouth Whalers. Fournier was team captain in his final season with the Whalers and also helped the Whalers secure the OHL’s J. Ross Robertson Cup, awarded to the OHL playoff champion, during the 2006-07 season.
After finishing his junior career, Fournier completed the 2007-08 season in the American Hockey League, playing six games with the Norfolk Admirals.
Daavettila is returning to Kalamazoo for his second full season with the K-Wings. The native of Howell, Michigan began his tenure with the K-Wings two seasons ago averaging nearly a point-a-night, Daavettila racked up 18 points (9 goal, 9 assists) in Kalamazoo’s final 21 games of the season.
In his first full season in Kalamazoo, Daavettila posted 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists) in 51 games. Daavettila’s efforts also earned the forward recognition in the American Hockey League by receiving call-ups to both the Grand Rapid Griffins and Adirondack Phantoms.
“Trent is talented forward that has demonstrated an incredible work ethic and has shown the ability to be a strong leader,” said Bootland. “His speed creates scoring chances not only for himself, but his line mates.”
Last June, Daavettila participated in the rookie camp of the NHL’s New York Rangers and then started the season in the training camp of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL.
During last season, Daavettila went on a K-Wings’ season-high four-game goal streak from 10/25/09-11/04/09. Daavettila also went on a six-game point streak from 10/25/09-11/08/09.
After spending three years of junior hockey with the Portage Lake Pioneers of the Great Lakes Hockey League. In those three seasons with the Pioneers, Daavettila recorded 99 points (53 goals, 46 assists).
Daavettila began his pro career with the Flint Generals of the International Hockey League.
A third-year pro, Asselin joined the K-Wings last February after being acquired in a trade with the Utah Grizzlies.
Asselin sparked the K-Wings offense by adding 22 points (9 goals, 13 assists) in 26 games.
“Patrick was a pleasant surprise for us last season,” said Bootland. “With his natural ability to put the puck in the net, we anticipate his role to increase this season.”
Asselin tied a K-Wings season-high plus/minus rating earning a “+4” on 03/04/10 against the Reading Royals. Asselin went on a seven-game point streak from 03/03/10-03/20/10.
In his rookie campaign two seasons ago with the Hern EV (Germany), Asselin recorded 79 points (39 goals, 40 assists) in 50 games.
The native of Peterborough, Ontario has ties with the state of Michigan where he played five seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the Saginaw Spirit.
In his last season in the OHL, Asselin torched the competition netting 41 goals en route to recording 78 points as he split the season with the Spirit and the Oshawa Generals.
After suffering a season-ending injury last October, Kharin is set for his first full season of professional hockey.
Kharin stormed on the scene by notching nine points (2 goals, 7 assists) in eight contests last season.
“We really have only scratched the surface of Anton’s ability,” said Bootland. “He is recovered from last season’s injury and is once again ready to prove what he can do at this level.”
Last off-season, Kharin participated in the rookie camp of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers.
Kharin spent three seasons playing for Division I powerhouse Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) helping the Tigers to the American Hockey Association regular season conference crown, Kharin racked up 20 points (12 goals, 8 assists) in 32 games last year.
Receiving a taste of the pro ranks late during the 2008-09 season, Kharin produced 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 10 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the International Hockey League (IHL).
Kharin is the son of former professional hockey player Sergei Kharin, who was the United Hockey League Playoff MVP of the1998-99 Colonial Cup champion’s, the Muskegon Fury.
Sergei was a former NHL draft pick and played for the Winnipeg Jets and was a member of the Soviet Union’s Olympic Gold Medal winning team in 1988. Having the ultimate father-son moment, the Kharins played one professional contest last year as teammates in Muskegon.
None of the four players signed were on the K-Wings protected list.
Asselin, Daavettila, Fournier and Kharin are the first four signings for the upcoming 2010-11 season, which will commence on the road Saturday, October 16th against the South Carolina Stingrays.
Kalamazoo will open up the home portion of their schedule on Saturday, October 23rd versus the defending Kelly Cup champion’s, the Cincinnati Cyclones with a 7:30 p.m. face-off at Wings Stadium during the 7th annual Orange Ice game.
Season tickets for the upcoming 2010-2011 season are on sale at the Wings Stadium Ticket Office. Ticket Office hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information about tickets, give the Wings Stadium Ticket Office a call during regular business hours at (269) 345-5101.
For more information about the preseason schedule, please contact Mike Modugno, director of public relations and broadcaster at (269) 349-9772, extension 220.