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Rupert twins reunited in Indy

Fuel sign brothers Matt and Ryan Rupert for 2017-18

 

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, announced Tuesday that they have signed forwards and twin brothers Matt and Ryan Rupert for the 2017-18 ECHL season. Matt is set to return for his second season in the Circle City, while Ryan split the 2016-17 campaign between the AHL’s Binghamton Senators and the ECHL’s Wichita Thunder.

Having played together for the bulk of their careers, the 23-year-olds from Grand Bend, Ontario rejoin each other after spending most of the previous two seasons apart. The Ruperts were both standouts with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights, helping their team to three consecutive Memorial Cup appearances from 2012-2014. During those three seasons, Matt and Ryan combined for a total of 317 points (120g, 197a) and 455 penalty minutes. The twins last played on the same team during a seven-game stint with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears to begin the 2015-16 season, before Ryan was dealt to the Ottawa Senators organization.

Matt finished third among Fuel players in 2016-17 with both 37 points and 21 goals, setting career highs in each offensive category. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound forward was the only skater to dress in all 72 games for Indy, winning the club’s Penalty Killer Award for his dependability on both sides of the puck. Matt saved his best offensive work for late in the season, recording a goal in five straight contests from March 19-31, all part of a nine game stretch from March 12 to April 1 where he tallied seven goals and six assists.

“We’re excited to have Matt back with us this season. He’s one of the guys who can do a little bit of everything for your club,” said Fuel Head Coach and VP of Hockey Operations Bernie John. “He played in all situations for us and was a contributor on the offensive side of the puck as well. He has the potential to be a 30-goal scorer for us.”

The older brother by 10 minutes, Matt made his professional debut when he dressed for two games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies at the end of the 2014-15 season, before spending the entire 2015-16 campaign in Orlando. In 125 ECHL contests, Matt has recorded 32 goals, 24 assists and 104 minutes in penalties. Before turning pro – in his first season playing without Ryan – Matt finished fourth on London’s roster with 75 points (30g, 45a), serving as the Knights’ alternate captain. Matt finished his OHL career with 233 points (105g, 128a) and 300 penalty minutes in 240 total games.

Ryan tallied nine goals and 12 assists in 29 games with Wichita last season, in addition to three goals and three assists over 33 AHL contests with Binghamton. Entering his fourth year as a pro, the 5-foot-8, 185-pound forward has accumulated 58 points (31g, 27a) and 113 penalty minutes over 149 AHL games with the Senators and Marlies, on top of 40 points (17g, 23a) in 53 total ECHL contests with Wichita and Orlando.

“With Ryan we get a lot of the same attributes as you see in Matt, with a little more of the skill game,” John explained. “We’re expecting big things from both of them this season.”

A sixth round selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft (No. 157 overall), Ryan made his pro debut with the Marlies in 2014-15, suiting up for 57 games his rookie season. In 224 total OHL games over four seasons in London, he collected 194 points (58g, 136a) and 279 penalty minutes.

With the Ruperts on board, the Fuel’s roster currently stands at five players under contract for 2017-18, consisting of four forwards and one defenseman.

Ticket Plans for the 2017-18 Indy Fuel season are now on sale! Join the team for year four at Indiana Farmers Coliseum and receive priority access to seats for the 2018 CCM/ECHL All Star Classic! Learn more by visiting IndyFuelHockey.com or calling 317-925-FUEL. Keep tabs on the team during the offseason by following the Fuel on Twitter and Instagram (@IndyFuel) and don’t forget to ‘Like’ the Fuel on Facebook.

— INDYFUELHOCKEY.COM —