Former Lindenwood men’s hockey player, Andy Willis recently inked a pro contract with the Fort Wayne Komets of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). The Ballwin, Mo. native becomes the first Lindenwood player from the inaugural NCAA Division I team to sign a pro contract.
The Komets are an AA minor league hockey team and are the minor league affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, and the AHL Bakersfield Condors. Willis has played three games with the team after being signed last week, tallying four shots.
“We are very happy, if not elated that Andy Willis can continue his hockey career.” said head coach Rick Zombo. “Every player aspires to play college hockey and one day have the opportunity to make a living doing something you’ve been committed to your entire life. He’s overcome many adversities chasing his dream, and now his perseverance is being rewarded.”
The 6-0 forward finished third on the team in points (23) and assists (15) this season. Willis registered a five-point effort in the penultimate game of the inaugural campaign. He had a major impact on the ice, finishing with a +9, becoming one of two players to finish with a positive +/-
“It’s a dream come true to sign my first professional contract.” said Willis. “I’m grateful for the opportunity Lindenwood provided me to develop, both as a player and a person. Without the coaches and teammates, I had at Lindenwood, this would not have been possible. Being from St. Louis, and growing up close to Lindenwood, it was really special for me to be the captain of the program’s first NCAA Division I team. The four years I spent at Lindenwood is something I will cherish forever.”