BREAKING: McInnis, Dufour Sign with Fuel for 2018-19 Season


The Indy Fuel announced in a news release on Thursday that forwards Johnny McInnis and Kevin Dufour would sign with the team for the 2018-19 season. The pair joins forwards Logan Nelson and Mathew Thompson as the only players under contract for Indy next season. The team has not announced any defensemen or goaltender signings yet.

McInnis, 28, returns to the Fuel after joining the club last season in November. McInnis tallied 18 goals and 34 points in 57 games with Indy last season, playing on the third line alongside last season’s team MVP Ryan Rupert and Matt Rupert. The gritty forward was also the recipient of the Fuel’s 2017-18 Game Changer award. The award was selected by head coach Bernie John and assistant coach Ryan McGinnis. The Boston, MA native brings four seasons of ECHL experience to the Fuel, playing for five other teams around the league. McInnis played three seasons in Orlando, serving as the Solar Bears’ assistant captain in 2016-17 before being traded to the Utah Grizzlies just 13 games into the season.

McInnis brings a great two-way game to the Fuel for this coming season. One play that sticks out in my mind is when McInnis blocked two shots at the end of the last game of the regular season against the Kalamazoo Wings. Those two blocked shots saved the game and perhaps the season for Indy. Not only can he play on the defensive end, but he brings a gritty play to the offensive zone. He puts his body in front of the net to screen the goaltender for shots coming in from the point, something the Fuel have not done much of in the past.

Dufour, 25, will be coming to Indianapolis for the first time in his career, after playing for three other ECHL teams in the past. The Bowling Green State University alum is entering his second full season in the league, playing for the Wichita Thunder for most of the season last year. In 43 games with Wichita, the Quebec City native tallied 15 goals and 15 helpers to send the Thunder to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

I can imagine Dufour being a solid second-line winger alongside Thompson for next season. Dufour’s playmaking abilities will be a huge addition to the organization’s strong forward core already. Not only can Dufour find his teammates but he has no problem putting the puck in the back of the net. Dufour has a strong ability to put home rebounds and can clean up in the dirty areas, much like McInnis. Hopefully, both Dufour and Thompson will feed off each other’s playmaking abilities and will be the origin point for each other’s growth next season.

For more Indy Fuel news, updates, and analysis follow @evanfmiller on Twitter.

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