PORTLAND, ME – December 30, 2023 – The Maine Mariners and Fort Wayne Komets completed a four-player trade on Saturday. The Mariners acquired defenseman Darien Kielb and goaltender Francois Brassard from the Komets in exchange for forward Ethan Keppen and defenseman Mackenzie Dwyer.
Kielb, a 24-year-old defenseman from Hamilton, Ontario is in his third professional season, and brings significant AHL experience with him. Last season, he appeared in 25 games for the Bakersfield Condors, plus another 22 with Fort Wayne. He’s also played for the Laval Rocket at the AHL level. This season, in 16 games with the Komets, Kielb has one goal and seven assists. Prior to turning pro, Kielb played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the Quebec Remparts and Gatineau Olympiques, and spent one season at Dalhousie University.
Brassard, 29, will enter his third stint as a Maine Mariners netminder. He ranks second on the all-time franchise wins and minutes played leaderboards. Brassard originally joined the Mariners at the end of the 2018-19 season, and re-signed the following summer, spending the entire 2019-20 season in Maine as well. He returned to the Mariners last season on an AHL deal with Providence, and appeared in 33 regular season games, posting a record of 17-14-1, with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage. He also became the first Mariner goaltender to score a goal and won two postseason games. Brassard has played 96 career ECHL games, also suiting up for the Wheeling Nailers and Jacksonville Icemen. He was the 2021-22 ECHL Goaltender of the Year, while with the Icemen.
Ethan Keppen posted 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 24 games for the Mariners, while Mackenzie Dwyer skated in 13 games, scoring one goal and adding two assists. Dwyer re-joins the Komets after playing five games with them last season.
The Mariners are home tonight hosting the Trois-Rivieres Lions at 6 PM. It’s a “Carnival on the Concourse,” featuring face painters, magicians, balloon artists, and more. They play three times next weekend, including home games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Single game tickets for all regular season home games are on sale at MarinersOfMaine.com or at the Ware-Butler Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena. More information on ticket packages and group discounts can be found by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland. The 2023-2024 season is presented by Hannaford to Go.