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Utica, NY. –   Utica Comets General Manager, Dan MacKinnon, announced today that the team has signed forward, Andre Ghantous along with defenseman Jackson van de Leest. Both players were signed to AHL two-way, one-year contracts. 

Ghantous, 25, spent five seasons at Northern Michigan University before joining the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL at the end of the 2023-24 campaign. During his time at Northern Michigan, he played in 170 games scoring 53 goals and 103 assists for a total of 156 points. Ghantous, 5-foot-9, 180-pounds, skated in three games with Utica last season scoring a goal and adding an assist. The Glendale, California native was a Hockey Baker Nominee in back-to-back years for North Michigan. 

van de Leest, 23, enters his first full season of professional hockey. Last year, he started the season with Dalhousie University before joining the Adirondack Thunder for 14 games registering two assists. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound defenseman skated in six games for the Comets during the 2023-24 season. van de Leest is a former captain of the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. The 2024-25 campaign will be his first full professional hockey season. 

The Utica Comets 2024-25 season tickets are now on sale. For more information, please visit

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