The Fort Wayne Komets induct former player and current Fort Wayne Spacemen Head Coach Kaleigh Schrock into their Hall of Fame.
Kaleigh Schrock might be the biggest longshot ever to make the Fort Wayne Komets Hall of Fame. That’s kind of cool because everything he accomplished during his playing career was about overcoming incredible odds.
Fort Wayne Spacemen Head Coach Kaleigh Schrock
Video courtesy WANE Inside the Zone
A Fort Wayne native, Coach Schrock played his youth and high school hockey in the city before leaving for Juniors hockey. Coach Kaleigh then captained the Neumann University program to a Division III national championship before returning to Fort Wayne as a part of the ECHL Fort Wayne Komets.
Coach Kaleigh played 439 games over six seasons for the Komets, collecting 81 goals, 152 points and 854 penalty minutes. Regarded as a speedy, tenacious forward and something of an underdog, Schrock was named the Komets Rookie of the Year for the 2009-2010 season, and was part of that seasons International Hockey League championship winning team. Schrock was also a member of the Central Hockey League championship winning team in the 2011-2012 season. Schrock captained the Komets from late 2013 until his retirement in 2015.
After his professional playing career, Coach Schrock stayed in Fort Wayne to oversee youth programs at the SportONE/Parkview Icehouse as well as at the Trine University rink, where he was also the assistant arena manager. Coach Kaleigh also found the time to coach the Summit City Panthers to an Indiana state high school championship.
“It’s been (beneficial) just having the experience of developing an entire youth program, and going back and literally teaching kids who are 6 years old how to skate, and going back and redefining the fundamentals,” Schrock said. “And I’ve had just the itch to stay competitive as well. Helping the kids skate at a higher level is something I’m passionate about.”
Schrock was the logical choice to become the first Head Coach of the Spacemen, viewing the program as "... a trampoline to get kids to the next step. Having experienced that myself, it will help me establish rapport with some of those kids in that situation.”
The Fort Wayne Komets will induct Coach Schrock into the Komets' Hall of Fame on March 7, 2020.
Fort Wayne Spacemen Head Coach Cam Wirick
Coach Wirick grew up playing youth and junior hockey in Fort Wayne. He played with the Fort Wayne Federals (GLJHL) for 3 seasons before moving to Michigan to finish his Junior hockey career with the Marquette Royales (MnJHL). While in Marquette, Coach Wirick lead the league in goals and finished top 10 in points.
Following his Junior career, Coach Wirick played 3 seasons with Finlandia University at the NCAA Division 3 level. He then transferred to Indiana Tech for his senior season where he helped lead the Warriors to a National Championship in 2019. Coach Wirick played one more season with Indiana Tech where he captained the team and finished ranked 10th in ACHA Division 1.
After his hockey career, Coach Wirick began coaching travel hockey in Fort Wayne where he has spent the past 2 seasons. Coach Wirick will also be assisting Carroll High School this season as an assistant coach.
Josh Moles, Assistant Coach
Growing up and playing his youth hockey in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Josh Moles went on to play four years for Culver Military Academy Prep team. After Culver, Josh played one year of Junior A hockey splitting time between the Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL) and the Seguin Bruins (OPJHL) before moving on and playing NCAA DIII ECAC-NE Hockey for Nichols College located in Dudley, Massachusetts.
After a short stint playing for the Dayton Demonz (FHL), Josh joined Next Level Hockey as the Director of Hockey Operations located in Sterling, Virginia where he was responsible for Player Development as well as Daily Operations for the organization.
Coach Moles has also held coaching positions with the Potomac Patriots (USPHL), Washington Little Caps Bantam AAA, and Team Maryland Midget AAA programs located in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area.
Coach Moles brings a wealth of experience working with top tier AAA programs as well as helping players advance to the next level with former players currently playing in the USHL, NAHL, and committing NCAA DI and DIII.
Valerii Proniakin, Assistant Coach
Coach Pronyakin began his career in Kiev Ukraine playing youth and junior hockey with Sokol Kiev. At the age of 16 he began to play with the adult Sokol Kiev at the professional level. In 2007-08 he gained experience in the USA with the AEHL Dover Seawolves and then with HC Barys Astana, Kazakhstan, HC Disel Penza, HC Pridneprovsk in Ukraine.
He ended his professional career due to a knee injury and graduated from the National University of Economics in Kiev with a degree in International Economics. Veleri also received a master's degree from the National Institute of Physical Education as a hockey coach and a Certificate of the Yellow-Blue coaching program Sweden.
After that, he became the head coach of the children of HC Pridneprovsk 2004 in Dnipro,Ukraine and brought it to the U20 national championship. Valeri then opened his school "ProHockey" to children born in 2009-2013 and participated in the national championship.
Valeri and his family moved to the United States last year, and are very grateful for this opportunity. Coach Pronyakin is very proud to be part of the leadership of the Fort Wayne Spaceman.
John Salway, Skating/Skills Coach
A Fort Wayne native, Coach Salway began his skating career at 3 years old as a competitive figure skater. Salway earned the right to compete on behalf of the United States for the first time at 12 years old as a singles competitor, and again between 2004-2007, where he was named to Team USA.
Over 23 years of competitive skating, Coach Salway is a national and international medalist in both singles and pairs disciplines and is a Senior (Gold) level test in three disciplines.
Salway started coaching in 2001 while still competing, but after retiring from competitive figure skating he found a niche in teaching skating skills and edges to hockey players.
Over 19 years of coaching, Coach Salway has had the opportunity to work with developing players and teams at all levels, from their first steps on the ice through professionals.
Salway has a unique ability to develop a skaters balance, awareness of their edges, and overall movement. Salway believes in the power of a process and building good habits from a strong foundation.
Coach Salway is currently the Assistant Hockey Director at SportOne Parkview Icehouse, Assistant Coach for the Fort Wayne Vipers high school team, and skating and skills coach for USPHL Fort Wayne Spacemen, Indiana Tech Hockey, and the ECHL Fort Wayne Komets.
Mikhail Melnikov, Goalie Coach
Coach Melnikov started his hockey career in Gomel, Belarus. He played for 11 years for HC Gomel. At the age of 15 was called up for U16 Belarus national team tryouts.
After moving to the United States played one season for u16 Cleveland Barons(AAA), then two seasons for u18 Milwaukee Admirals (AAA), where in season 2019-20 won the state championship.
Coach Melnikov started his Junior career playing for Provo Riverblades (USPHL Premier), and he finished his junior career in Fort Wayne playing for Spacemen (USPHL Premier). Currently, play for the Indiana Tech DI hockey team.
Since the 2022-23 season, Coach Melnikov has taken the roles of the head FWAHA goalie coach instructor and Spacemen goalie coach.