INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel have started their rebound from a disappointing 2021-22 campaign with the announcement of their first four signees for the upcoming season. Two forwards, Chris Van Os-Shaw and Brenden Locke, and two defensemen, Josh McDougall and Cam Bakker, have inked deals to start the season in Indianapolis.
Van Os-Shaw should be a name familiar with Fuel fans. Chris found a home in Indianapolis late last season, scoring six points in six games and looking to be a key piece in Indy’s attempt to return to the postseason. The Regina, Saskatchewan native will be playing his first full professional season after finishing up his college career last season at American International College (AIC) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He also had a prior three-year stint with Minnesota State University-Mankato before his transfer to AIC.
Locke is the second forward signed for the upcoming season, having played in twenty games for Trois-Rivieres of the ECHL last season, totaling nine points in the regular season and three more in the playoffs. He also spent four seasons with Cornell of the NCAA, scoring 18 points in 32 games during his senior year.
Another signing, McDougall, will also be playing his first full professional season next year after playing five games late last season for the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL, where he went scoreless. The 5’10” defenseman had a four-year career with the Mercyhurst Lakers of the NCAA, where he had his best season last year, tallying three goals and twelve assists in 39 games. He also was an alternate captain during his last two seasons with the Lakers.
Bakker will be continuing his stint with Indy, following an eleven-game stretch last season after he had been traded from the Florida Everblades. He assisted on four goals in eleven games with the Fuel. Over the previous few years, the 29-year-old bounced around between both the ECHL with South Carolina and Brampton as well as the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) with Roanoke and Pensacola.
That puts the Fuel at four roster players so far for the 2022-23 season. All four players have shown that they can be successful from their previous seasons with other clubs. Expect Van Os-Shaw to continue where he left off last season and become an impact player early on for the Fuel. Locke showed offensive capabilities in his short time with Trois-Rivieres last season that should only grow in his first professional season. McDougall, while smaller for a typical defenseman, showed offensive abilities in college which will be quite valuable to Indy as he gets settled in the Circle City. Bakker’s experience should be a good offset from the youth of the rookies.
Overall, it’s a solid first few signings for the Fuel as they start to build their roster towards being a contender in the Central Division in 2022-23.
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