UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Utica Comets Head Coach Kevin Dineen spoke to the media for the first time this season on Thursday morning, he was then followed by 2022 NHL Entry Draft number two overall selection Šimon Nemec, who had his first day of practice with the AHL squad after being sent down on Wednesday in exchange for fellow defenseman Kevin Bahl.

In his availability, Coach Dineen named his Captains for the upcoming season, Ryan Schmelzer will wear the “C” for the second consecutive year while Robbie Russo, Joe Gambardella, and Tyler Wotherspoon will be the Alternates. He also revealed that Akira Schmid will be the team’s opening night starter, but that going into every game he is confident in his netminder pairing which includes Schmid and Nico Daws.

Nemec took to the stand next, answering questions for the first time as a Comet. He started by giving the media a pronunciation of his name (Shee-mone Nyee-mits), followed that with some elaboration about the differences between the European and North American games, mainly rink size and physicality, and said that he’s heard about the passion of Comets fans already before rounding out his availability with a vote of confidence, “I know [the] players… I know [the] coaches, I know all the staff, I think it will be good.”