TEAM NEWS 22-23

Nailers Sign Peter Laviolette III
Wheeling Native Returns Home to Make Pro Debut Where His Father Made Coaching Debut

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce another player signing for the 2022-23 season, which brings their total to 22. Wheeling has signed forward Peter Laviolette III to an ECHL contract.

Laviolette, 24, is set to make his professional debut, after playing four years of college hockey at Plymouth State University, where he majored in Sports Management and Business Administration. Peter's offensive production increased each season, culminating with an 11-goal, 26-point campaign in his senior year of 2021-22. Over the course of his four seasons with the Panthers, the forward amassed 34 goals, 26 assists, and 60 points in 97 games. Plymouth State enjoyed lots of success as a team with Laviolette in the lineup, as the school took home four regular season championships and three tournament championships in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. Peter III was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, while his father Peter Jr. was the head coach of the Nailers.

"It's not every day you get to say that you have a player born in Wheeling playing for the Nailers," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "Peter has a lot of character, and he is coming off of a very successful rookie camp with the Washington Capitals and a great senior season at Plymouth State. He is a big player who goes to the net, and we are looking forward to continuing to help him in his development."

In addition to the 22 players under contract, the Nailers will also have five players attending training camp with tryouts - forwards Eetu Selänne and Alex Koopmeiners, defensemen Drayson Pears and Roy Kanda, and goaltender Tristan Côté-Cazenave.

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships, Big 6 ticket plans, and single game tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Add Two Big Forwards
Paré Brothers to Play Together; Former RMU Colonial Addamo Comes to Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce two more player signings for the upcoming season. Wheeling has signed forwards Cédric Paré and Justin Addamo.

Paré, 23, is entering his third professional season and second in the ECHL. Cédric began his pro career in 2020-21 with the Utah Grizzlies, and finished tied for third on the team in scoring with 17 goals, 23 assists, and 40 points in 67 games. The Lévis, Québec native then spent the entire 2021-22 campaign in the AHL with the Belleville Senators, as he collected four goals, six assists, and ten points in 41 games. Paré's teams have qualified for the playoffs in both seasons. Originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Cédric played five seasons of junior hockey in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs and Rimouski Océanic. Paré experienced the most team success in 2016-17, when the Sea Dogs captured the President's Cup as champions of the QMJHL. His best individual season was 2019-20, when he led Rimouski with 37 goals and finished second with 88 points. Cédric is Félix Paré's older brother, and this will be their first time playing together since 2015-16 with the Lévis Commandeurs.

"Cédric is a player who really solidifies our center position," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He is a big, mobile player, who can score and is strong on face-offs. He played all of last year in the AHL, so we are looking forward to him bringing that experience here, and being a great fit for our team, just as his brother is."

Addamo, 24, will make his pro debut this season, as he makes the jump after playing four years of college hockey. Justin was born in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and got his first taste of North American hockey in 2016-17, when he played the first of two seasons with the NAHL's Lone Star Brahmas and earned a Robertson Cup Championship. The 6-foot-6 forward then took his talents to Pittsburgh, as he attended Robert Morris University for the first three years of his collegiate career. Addamo produced 22 goals, 27 assists, and 49 points in 96 games with the Colonials. He then transferred to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), where he had a career year with 14 goals and 19 points with the Engineers. Justin has also had lots of opportunities to represent his country, as he played for Team France in World Junior Championships four years in a row. He earned a gold medal in 2015-16.

"Justin is a big power forward who scores a lot of his goals by taking pucks to the net, and is a physical player who is hard to play against," Army said. "He is familiar with this area from his time at RMU, and we are excited to see him at the pro level."

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships, Big 6 ticket plans, and single game tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers & Komets Renew Rivalry with Two Preseason Tilts
Wheeling Plays its Home Exhibition Game on Friday, October 14th at 7:10

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their schedule for the 2022 preseason. Wheeling will play a two-game home-and-home series against the Fort Wayne Komets. The Nailers will play their home game on Friday, October 14th at 7:10, then the Komets will play their home game on Sunday, October 16th at 3:00.

Wheeling and Fort Wayne are entering their 11th season as ECHL opponents, and the rivalry has grown tremendously throughout the first ten years. The frequency of the games reached a new level in 2020-21, when the Nailers and Komets clashed a remarkable 20 times, and that season culminated with Fort Wayne capturing its first Kelly Cup. The Nailers got their chance to celebrate success in 2021-22, when they won their first playoff series since 2016 by defeating the Komets in game seven of the opening round.

The two historic teams who have combined to play 100 professional seasons have matched up 68 times during regular season play, once in the playoffs, and twice in preseason sets. The 2022-23 regular season series between Wheeling and Fort Wayne will feature 11 head-to-head battles, with seven at WesBanco Arena and four at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The first of those games will be in Wheeling on November 12th, then the Nailers will make their first regular season visit to Fort Wayne on December 2nd.

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships, Big 6 ticket plans, and single game tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Unveil Jerseys for 2022-23 Season
Three New Jerseys with Three Unique Color Schemes Will Appeal to All

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have unveiled their uniforms for the 2022-23 season. The Nailers will take the ice with three different jerseys - all of which have their own unique color scheme.

The white jerseys will be the most similar to the jerseys worn during the 2021-22 campaign, as the logo on the crest will be the traditional mask and nails, colored in Vegas gold and black. Just like this past season, the Pittsburgh Penguins logo will be on the left shoulder and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins logo will be on the right shoulder. However, the shoulders will be white, as opposed to last year's black. The trim of the white jersey will be black and Vegas gold.

The black jerseys bring a color back to the rotation after a one-year absence, as the logo on the crest will be the traditional mask and nails, colored in sunflower yellow and black - the same colors used by both Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The shoulders will feature both affiliate logos on a black background, and the jersey will be trimmed in white and sunflower yellow. This is the first time that sunflower yellow will be used in a primary uniform, as all previous uses of sunflower yellow were on alternate jerseys.

The alternate jerseys put a new spin on a popular color, as the jerseys will be red, with "Wheeling" spelled out diagonally across the chest in white. Red was one of the team's primary uniform colors from 1992-2011, and was then frequently used on alternate uniforms over the course of the last decade. Similar to the white and black jerseys, the alternates will have the affiliate logos on the shoulders with a red background, and the trim of the jerseys will be black and white.

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Make Pair of Trades
Wheeling Receives Defenseman Jason Horvath from Maine

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced two trades. Wheeling has acquired defenseman Jason Horvath from the Maine Mariners in exchange for forward Tim Doherty. The Nailers also traded forward Pierrick Dubé to the Trois-Rivières Lions in exchange for future considerations.

Horvath, 22, is coming off is first season of professional hockey, as he accumulated one goal, 12 assists, and 13 points in 37 games with the Mariners. Jason's best stretch during his rookie campaign came during late December and early January, when he found the scoresheet in four straight contests, which included a pair of multi-point efforts, a season-high six shots on goal against Trois-Rivières on December 18th, and his first career goal on January 1st against Adirondack. Prior to turning pro, the Russell, Ontario native played four seasons of junior hockey for the QMJHL's Shawinigan Cataractes and Halifax Mooseheads. His best season came with Halifax in 2020-21, when he tallied five goals and 18 points in 43 games.

Doherty, 27, returns to the state where he played the majority of his college hockey career, as he played three seasons for the University of Maine Black Bears from 2017-20. Tim had two strong seasons in a Wheeling uniform, as he produced 24 goals, 30 assists, and 54 points in 79 games. He ranked fourth on the 2021-22 squad with 45 points, and his seven power play goals were tied for second on the team. The Portsmouth, Rhode Island native originally joined the Nailers in May of 2021, when he was claimed off waivers from the Allen Americans.

Dubé, 21, was claimed off waivers from Trois-Rivières by Wheeling during the 2021-22 season, but elected to finish the season in juniors, and went on to win a QMJHL President Cup with the Shawinigan Cataractes. Pierrick racked up 44 points in 36 regular season games with the Cataractes, then added 18 points in the playoffs, including the championship winning goal in overtime of game five against Charlottetown. The Sept-Iles, Québec native had four points in ten games last season with the Lions.

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL

Nailers Sign Two Goaltenders
Bednard & Culina Give Wheeling a Talented Tandem Between the Pipes

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that they have signed two goaltenders to ECHL contracts for the 2022-23 season. Wheeling has signed Ryan Bednard and Mario Culina.

"We are really happy with our goaltending depth," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "We feel very confident in both goalies being able to win games for us."

Bednard, 25, is entering his fourth professional season, after spending the majority of his first three years in the state of South Carolina. Ryan started his pro career in the Florida Panthers organization, as Florida selected him in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That led him to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, where he went 30-18-9 with a 2.65 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. The 2020-21 campaign was a huge one for Bednard, who earned ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors four times, was one of four goaltenders to reach the 20-win mark, and helped Greenville win its first playoff series since 2014. This past year, the Macomb, Michigan native took his talents slightly east to the South Carolina Stingrays, and finished with a save percentage of .900 or better for the third straight season. Ryan has seen AHL action in all three of his pro years, as he has skated into the crease for the Springfield Thunderbirds, Syracuse Crunch, and Hershey Bears. Prior to turning pro, Bednard played three seasons of college hockey at Bowling Green State University, where he was teammates with current Nailers Adam Smith and Max Johnson. He also played junior hockey locally with the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms and NAHL's Johnstown Tomahawks.

"Ryan is a veteran goalie, who has had really good numbers during his three seasons as a pro," Army said. "He caught my eye when he played terrific against us with Greenville, and he is the perfect person to provide a veteran presence and hold the back line for us."

Culina, 25, has played in parts of two ECHL seasons with the Newfoundland Growlers and Fort Wayne Komets, and has gone 10-7-0 with a 2.98 goals against average and a .905 save percentage. Mario first turned pro in 2018, after he completed his junior hockey career with the OHL's Kitchener Rangers. He won each of his first five starts with the Growlers, then opted to go to school, as he attended Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native played two seasons with the Badgers and turned in solid numbers, as he had a 2.51 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in 17 appearances. During the 2021-22 season, Culina made his return to the pro game, as he signed with the Komets. He was victorious in five of his final nine starts, and allowed two goals or less in four of his five wins. Mario had a winning record in four of his five seasons as an amateur, which included a trip to game seven of the conference final in his final year with Kitchener, where his goaltending coach was current Pittsburgh Penguins Goaltending Development Coach Kain Tisi.

"Mario was recommended to us by Kain Tisi, who worked a lot with him in juniors, and liked him both as a goalie and as a person," said Army. "He is athletic, he battles hard, and he is looking to prove something this season."

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL

Nailers Sign Three New Players
Lunn, Peters, Wilkie Bring Summer Signing Total to 16

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce three more player signings for the 2022-23 season, bringing their total to 16. Wheeling has signed forward Griffin Lunn, as well as defensemen Dilan Peters and Zach Wilkie.

Lunn, 24, is making the jump to the pro game, after finishing his four-year collegiate career at Colgate University. Griffin saw his production increase during all four of his seasons with the Raiders, and he punctuated that in 2021-22, as he finished third on the team with 12 goals, and tied for fifth with 19 points. For his career, the Lockport, New York native accumulated 20 goals, 23 assists, and 43 points in 121 games. Lunn was an member of the ECAC All-Academic Team all four years, and he was teammates with former Nailer Jared Cockrell during his first two seasons. Additionally, Griffin played junior hockey with Matthew Quercia and Davis Bunz.

"Griffin is a player who had a breakout year as a senior at Colgate," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He is cut from the same cloth as Jared Cockrell - he can really skate, he plays physical, and he has a good shot. We are excited to see what he can do as a pro."

Peters, 21, is coming off of a season of U Sports, as he attended Lakehead University in 2021-22. Dilan played a physical style for the Thunderwolves, as he amassed 65 penalty minutes in 12 games. Prior to that, the Sarnia, Ontario native played two seasons of junior hockey in the North American Hockey League with the Shreveport Mudbugs and St. Cloud Norsemen. Peters finished tied for eighth on the Mudbugs with a +13 rating during the 2019-20 season, and also ranked sixth with 82 penalty minutes. Dilan is one of the tallest players signed by the Nailers this summer at 6-foot-6.

"Dilan is a big, physical defenseman, who skates well, and has a lot of rawness to his game," Army said. "We want to help him develop, as he has a lot of potential to help us this year and in the future."

Wilkie, 25, is entering his second professional season, after winning a President's Cup Championship as a rookie with the SPHL's Peoria Rivermen. Zach tallied three goals, 24 assists, and 27 points in 50 regular season games with the Rivermen, then added five points in ten playoff contests. The Villa Park, Illinois native also brought plenty of physicality to Peoria, as he ranked fifth in the SPHL with 148 penalty minutes. Wilkie earned a pair of call-ups to the ECHL, as he skated in two games each with the Allen Americans and South Carolina Stingrays. Prior to turning pro, Zach played two seasons of U Sports Hockey at Laurentian University, as well as five seasons of junior hockey - four in the OHL and one in the OJHL. He was teammates with former Nailers Blake Siebenaler and Graham Knott, while playing for the Niagara IceDogs.

"Zach is coming off of winning a championship in the SPHL, and he has a lot of qualities that we take pride in," said Army. "He plays hard, he isn't shy, and I was impressed with his mentality when I spoke with him about coming to Wheeling."

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Add a Pair of Rookies
Forward Samuel Tremblay & Defenseman Davis Bunz Ready to Begin Pro Careers

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce a pair of player signings for the 2022-23 season. Wheeling has signed forward Samuel Tremblay and defenseman Davis Bunz.

Tremblay, 27, is turning pro after playing five seasons of U Sports Hockey at McGill University in Montréal. After notching 12 points in 22 games as a freshman, Samuel really found his scoring touch, as he finished third on the team in goals as both a sophomore and a junior. During his sophomore season, he tied for second with 22 points, which helped the Redmen capture the Queen's Cup as OUA Champions. The Saint-Hubert, Québec native took a large leadership role at McGill as well, as he served as team captain for two seasons, and this spring, he was presented with the Québec Lieutenant-Governor's Medal. Tremblay totaled 33 goals, 29 assists, and 62 points in 90 career games, and was teammates with former Nailers goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon in four of his five seasons at McGill.

"Samuel was a captain for two years at McGill, and he comes to us highly recommended by LP Guindon," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He fits our work ethic and what we're trying to build, and he is hungry to play this year, after surgery kept him out for most of last season."

Bunz, 23, is also looking forward to starting his professional career, as he recently completed his five-year collegiate career at Providence College. Davis quickly got a taste of big games with the Friars, as the team reached the Hockey East Final in his freshman year, then went to the NCAA Frozen Four in his sophomore campaign. The Middleton, Wisconsin native was relied upon as a shutdown defenseman at PC, as he posted a +10 rating to go along with 17 points. Bunz was also a very dependable player in school, as he played in all of the team's games in three of his five seasons. Davis also made a huge impact off of the ice, and in 2020, he was nominated for the Hockey Humanitarian Award.

"Davis comes from a winning background at Providence, where he played a shut down role and was great on the penalty kill," Army said. "He is a smooth skating long defenseman who has a good stick, and we're looking forward to pushing his offensive development."

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Add Returning Player, Plus Two New Faces
Desruisseaux Comes Back, While Johnson & Roehl Get Ready to Begin Pro Careers

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce three more player signings, which brings their total to 11 for the 2022-23 season. Wheeling has signed forwards Cédric Desruisseaux and Max Johnson, as well as defenseman Louie Roehl.

Desruisseaux, 22, came to the Nailers late last season, when he was loaned to Wheeling by the AHL's Laval Rocket, after spending most of the year with the Trois-Rivières Lions. Cédric posted points in four of his first five games with the Nailers, which included a three-point performance on April 6th at Iowa. The Warwick, Québec native finished his rookie campaign with nine goals, 21 assists, and 30 points in 50 ECHL games, and also appeared in three matches with Laval, in which he collected one goal and one assist. Prior to turning pro, Desruisseaux played five seasons in the Québec Major Junior Hockey League with Victoriaville, Drummondville, and Charlottetown.

"Cédric came to us during a time when we needed scoring depth, and was inportant in contributing on the scoresheet down the stretch," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He is a young player who has a bright future, and he will get more opportunities with us this year."

Johnson, 24, is a new member of the Nailers, as he gets ready to begin his pro career. Max played five seasons of college hockey, as he attended Bowling Green State University for four years, then transferred to the University of Wisconsin for his final year. The Lakeville, Minnesota native was nearly a point-per-game player during his time with the Falcons, as he racked up 48 goals, 74 assists, and 122 points in 143 games at BGSU. His best season came during his sophomore year, when he led Bowling Green with 19 goals, 24 assists, and 43 points in 41 games. Johnson was teammates with Adam Smith for two seasons in college, and was teammates with Matthew Quercia, when the two played for the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede. Max was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team in 2017-18, and was a member of the WCHA All-Academic Team three times.

"Max put up elite offensive numbers at Bowling Green," Army said. "He has a high hockey IQ and compete level, we are very excited to have him in the organization, and I am looking forward to working with him."

Roehl, 24, is also making the jump from the college game to the pros, as he signs his first contract with the Nailers. Louie played five seasons of college hockey, all for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Primarily a defensive defenseman, Roehl finished his collegiate career with a +28 rating, as he was a plus player in four of five seasons. Offensively, the Eden Prairie, Minnesota native recorded seven goals, 22 assists, and 29 points in 180 games. Louie and the Bulldogs reached the Frozen Four four times, and won the National Championship in 2017 and 2018. His assistant coach for the last four seasons was former Nailers forward Adam Krause, who was teammates with Derek Army for parts of three seasons.

"Louie comes from a winning program at Minnesota-Duluth, and Adam Krause spoke very highly of him as his assistant coach," said Army. "He is willing to do the hard things that win games, and he can play against other teams' best lines."

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Four More Players
Smith, Hampton, Paré, Drevitch Coming Back, Bringing Returning Total to Eight

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce four more player signings for the 2022-23 season. Wheeling has re-signed defenseman Adam Smith, as well as forwards Bobby Hampton, Félix Paré, and Tyler Drevitch. The Nailers have now signed eight players for the upcoming season, and all eight are returning players from the team that reached the 2022 Central Division Final.

"When I was here as a player, it was important for the team to keep an identity," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "We do a great job of helping players reach a higher level, but moving forward, it's also important that we don't lose the identity that we have. In the players we have already brought back, we feel like we are going to be able to maintain that identity and carry it along to the next group of players that become Nailers."

Smith, 25, has played two seasons with the Nailers and three in the ECHL, and is a very reliable player on the blueline. Adam led Wheeling with a +17 rating in a team-high 66 games, and nearly doubled his offensive production from the previous season, as he accumulated five goals, 18 assists, and 23 points. The Sharon, Ontario native enjoyed a strong month of December, as he posted a +10 rating, notched seven points, and appeared in two AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. 2022 was Smith's first taste of postseason action, as he appeared in all 11 games to complement his 170 career regular season contests as a pro. Prior to turning pro, Adam attended Bowling Green State University for four years.

"Adam is a big leader on our team, and we can turn to him to play in every situation," Army said. "He plays a very steady game on the back end, and is a huge reason we were able to get where we did this season."

Hampton, 24, is coming off of his first pro season, which saw him amass seven goals, ten assists, and 17 points in 50 games with the Nailers. Bobby made his debut on November 7th against Indy, recorded his first career point with an assist on December 4th at Toledo, then netted his first professional goal on December 17th at Norfolk, which came during his season-best five-game point streak. The Middletown, New Jersey native played in a variety of different roles, and was a very disciplined player, as he was only whistled for five minor penalties all year. Prior to turning pro, Hampton played three seasons of college hockey - two at Northeastern University and one at Penn State University.

"Bobby is the ultimate Swiss Army knife, as we were able to utilize him in every role," said Army. "He is a great teammate, and he came through in a lot of big games for us."

Paré, 22, is also coming off of his first season as a pro, as he compiled seven goals, seven assists, 14 points, and 72 penalty minutes in 54 games with Wheeling. After making his debut on October 30th at Wichita, Félix's season got rolling quickly, as he dished out an assist in the home opener against Fort Wayne on November 6th for his first point, then tallied a pair of goals against the Komets in a 5-4 overtime win on November 14th. Another strong run for the Levis, Québec native came in the middle of January, when he lit the lamp in three consecutive contests - all of which were victories. Paré's presence in the lineup was very noticeable, as the Nailers were nine games over .500 when he played and three games under .500 when he didn't. Prior to turning pro, Félix played five seasons of junior hockey in the Québec Major Junior Hockey League with the Victoriaville Tigres and Cape Breton Eagles.

"We counted on Félix in a lot of different situations, and he excelled on face-offs and on the penalty kill," Army said. "He plays a hard and physical game, his teammates love him, and he has a lot of potential as a pro."

Drevitch, 26, has played in two seasons with the Nailers, and all of his numbers increased from year one to year two, as he finished the 2021-22 campaign with five goals, four assists, nine points, and 112 penalty minutes in 45 games. Tyler is built for intense rivalries, and that showed with his productivity as well, as eight of his nine points came against Central Division opponents. One of the Middleboro, Massachusetts native's biggest games of the season was his playoff debut, which came in the thrilling game seven victory over Fort Wayne, as he assisted on the tying goal to ultimately forced overtime. Prior to turning pro, Drevitch attended Merrimack University for four years.

"Tyler is a player who will do whatever he can to help the team, and because of that, he is very well-liked in the locker room," said Army. "He brings a lot of energy at key times, and we saw that especially in game seven against Fort Wayne."

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Extend Qualifying Offers to Eight Players
Six Forwards, Two Defensemen Receive Offers

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their list of players who received qualifying offers for the summer of 2022. Eight players were tendered qualifying offers for Wheeling.

Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four could be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the upcoming 2022-23 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until July 16, at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until July 16. After July 16, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the player shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by August 1, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

The eight qualified players for the Wheeling Nailers are:
F Matt Alfaro
D Luke Bafia
F Tim Doherty
F Pierrick Dubé
F Trevor Gooch
F Nick Hutchison
D Dylan MacPherson
F Patrick Watling

If a player has already signed a contract for 2022-23, that player does not need to be tendered a qualifying offer.

Nailers Start 2022 Signings with Four Returning Players
Hausinger, Josling, Quercia, Drake First to Come Back After Exciting 2021-22 Season

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their first four player signings of the 2022 offseason - all of whom are returning players from the 2021-22 campaign. Wheeling has re-signed forwards Cam Hausinger, Sean Josling, and Matthew Quercia, as well as defenseman David Drake.

Hausinger, 23, had a terrific rookie season with the Nailers, as he finished tied for fifth on the team in scoring with 21 goals, 22 assists, and 43 points in 64 games. A few highlights from Cam's first campaign in Wheeling included his first pro goal on October 27th at Iowa, his first career hat trick on December 11th against Cincinnati, and a two-goal effort in his first head-to-head game against his brother Kenny on February 19th at Reading. The Anchorage, Alaska native was a key contributor down the stretch, as he netted back-to-back game winning goals, to help the Nailers clinch their first playoff berth since 2016. Hausinger took his game to another level in the postseason, as he led the way with nine goals in ten games, including a hat trick as part of a seven-goal performance in the opening round triumph over Fort Wayne. Prior to turning pro, Cam played five seasons of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League with Saskatoon, Red Deer, and Kootenay.

"Cam is the ultimate Nailer - an all-heart player, which is very reflective of our culture," Army said. "He played through a lot to lead us in playoff scoring, and we're looking forward to another big season out of him."

Josling, 23, is coming off his second season with the Nailers, and he saw his numbers improve greatly, as he produced at nearly a point-per-game clip with 14 goals, 19 assists, and 33 points in 36 games. After tallying six points in the club's first four games, Sean earned his first AHL opportunity, as he was signed to a professional tryout by the San Diego Gulls, with whom he collected one goal and one assist in 15 games. The Toronto, Ontario native returned to Wheeling at the beginning of February, and proceeded to pick up right where he left off, as he produced points in 11 of 13 games, while the team went 9-4-0. Josling carried his regular season success into the playoffs, as he added three goals and one assist. He scored the winning goal in game two against Fort Wayne, then tallied a goal and an assist in the game seven victory. Prior to turning pro, Sean played four seasons of junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting.

"Sean is a young player with a lot of potential, and it was good to see him get a look in the AHL this season," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "I am excited to have him back to help us continue that push, as he has lots of tools that make him a great Nailer."

Quercia, 23, joined the Nailers in February, after completing his collegiate career at Michigan Tech University. He made his pro debut on February 22nd against Reading, recorded his first career point with an assist on March 9th against Toledo, then scored his first professional goal on March 30th at Fort Wayne, en route to season totals of three goals, four assists, and seven points in 19 regular season games. Matthew's biggest moment in the early stages of his Wheeling career came during the playoffs, when he netted the winning goal in overtime of game seven to defeat the Komets at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. That marker was part of a two-goal, two-assist contribution in the postseason. In addition to his year at Michigan Tech, the Andover, Massachusetts native attended Boston University for three years.

"Matthew came in during the year, and his role increased as he started getting comfortable and confident with the pro game," said Army. "He was a big piece to our third line last season down the stretch, and he will always be remembered for scoring the overtime goal in Fort Wayne."

Drake, 27, has played three full seasons as a pro, mostly in the ECHL. The Nailers acquired David from the Reading Royals in a January trade, and he went on to play in 40 regular season games and 11 playoff contests with the team. Known predominantly for his defensive prowess, the Naperville, Illinois native finished the 2021-22 campaign with nine assists and a +3 rating. Drake also earned two AHL opportunities, as he appeared in five games with the Rochester Americans and Providence Bruins. Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2013, David attended the University of Connecticut for four years, before making his pro debut with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the spring of 2018. He has played in 190 career pro games.

"We traded for David in the middle of the season, and he was a major reason we had the success we did when we had players called up to the AHL," said Army. "He steadies the ship for us, and he is especially strong on the penalty kill."

The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Announce Season-Ending Roster
Wheeling Lists 20 Players; Teams May Begin Signing Players for 2022-23

WHEELING, WV- WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their Season-Ending Roster for the Summer of 2022. The roster consists of 20 players.

Season-Ending Rosters may include up to 20 players, and cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2021-22. From this list, teams are entitled to reserve rights to the maximum of eight players, by extending a qualifying offer to them by June 30th. No more than four of the eight can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games), players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded, and if a player signs a contract prior to June 30th, that team does not have to extend a qualifying offer to said player. If a player does receive a qualifying offer, that offer remains open for acceptance until July 16th.

Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season. A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until July 16th. After July 16th, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran or goaltender shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer. If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by August 1st, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

The Wheeling Nailers Season-Ending Roster consists of the following players:
F Matt Alfaro
D Luke Bafia
F Jared Cockrell
F Tim Doherty
D David Drake
F Tyler Drevitch
F Pierrick Dubé
D Matt Foley
F Trevor Gooch
F Bobby Hampton
F Cam Hausinger
F Nick Hutchison
F Sean Josling
D Dylan MacPherson
F Félix Paré
F Matthew Quercia
D Adam Smith
D Sam Thibault
D Pavel Vorobei
F Patrick Watling

Nailers Announce Details of Future Considerations Trades
Wheeling Receives the Rights to Four Players - Gooch, Thibault, Romano, Vorobei

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced the details of their five future considerations trades.

The Nailers have acquired the rights to forward Trevor Gooch from the Reading Royals, which completes the trade that sent defenseman Patrick McNally to Reading, and also saw defenseman David Drake come to Wheeling. Gooch is coming off an outstanding season, as he finished third in the ECHL with 34 goals, and ranked second on the Royals with 61 points. This was Trevor's second season with Reading and third as a pro, as he spent the 2020-21 campaign with the Vipiteno Sterzing Broncos. The 27-year old native of Mantua, New Jersey played college hockey at Colorado College.

The Nailers have acquired the rights to defenseman Samuel Thibault from the Norfolk Admirals, which completes the trade that sent defenseman Alex Stevens to Norfolk. Thibault just completed his fourth pro season, as he collected four goals, 11 assists, 15 points, and 110 penalty minutes in 68 games. While Samuel has spent the majority of his career in the ECHL, he also appeared in two AHL games with the Bakersfield Condors in 2017-18. The 25-year old native of Ste. Martine, Québec played junior hockey for the QMJHL's Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The Nailers have acquired the rights to forward Andrew Romano from the Maine Mariners, which completes the trade that sent goaltender Stefanos Lekkas to Maine. Romano notched four goals and five points in 26 games during his first ECHL season, after he started his pro career in the SPHL in 2020-21. The 26-year old native of Drexel Hill Pennsylvania played college hockey at SUNY-Geneseo.

The Nailers have acquired the rights to defenseman Pavel Vorobei from the Jacksonville Icemen, which completes the trade that sent forward Brendan Harris to Jacksonville. Vorobei tallied seven goals, six assists, and 13 points in 32 games during his first season in North America. The 24-year old native of Minsk, Belarus had previously played in parts of four seasons in the KHL, in addition to part of one season in Finland's SM-liiga.

The Nailers have traded the rights to goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon to the Trois-Rivières Lions, which completes the transaction that saw the Laval Rocket loan forward Cédric Desruisseaux to Wheeling, and the Nailers send Jesse Lees to Trois-Rivières. Guindon went 9-5-2 with a 2.74 goals against average and a .906 save percentage in 17 regular season games, then earned all four of the team's postseason victories in the first round series triumph against Fort Wayne. The 27-year old native of Montréal, Québec played junior hockey in the QMJHL, then attended McGill University.

The next key offseason date is June 15th, when teams submit their Season Ending Rosters. Teams may begin signing players on June 16th for the 2022-23 season.

Nailers Announce 2022-23 Schedule

Wheeling Opens its 31st Season at Home Against Toledo on October 22nd

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their schedule for the 2022-23 season - the 31st season of professional hockey in Wheeling.

The Nailers are committed to delivering a family friendly schedule, and that is once again true for 2022-23, as 33 of the 36 home games will be played on weekends or holidays, plus the Education Day game will make its return after a two-year absence. Wheeling will open the season at home for just the second time in six years, while the traditional Thanksgiving Eve and New Year's Eve games are early highlights on the docket. Central Division rivalries heated up in a big way during 2021-22, and being successful against divisional opponents will be key in making a return to the playoffs, as 54 of 72 games will be played against Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Indy, Iowa, Kalamazoo, and Toledo. 2022 Kelly Cup Playoff opponents Fort Wayne and Toledo top the list, as the Nailers will face those two squads 11 times each, including seven home battles with the Komets. Outside of the division, Wheeling will see Norfolk and Reading eight times each, and will make a two-game trip to Kansas City. Game times will remain the same, as Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday games will begin at 7:10, Sunday games will begin at 4:10, New Year's Eve will begin at 6:10, and Education Day will begin at 10:45 a.m.

The entire month of October will be spent in the Friendly City, as the Nailers will play their first four games on home ice. Opening Night will be Saturday, October 23rd against the Toledo Walleye, who will stick around for a 4:10 tilt the following day. Cincinnati and Iowa will come to town during the second weekend of the campaign, when Wheeling hopes to deliver a pre-Halloween spook to a couple of rival squads.

November will begin with the first three road games of the year, as the Nailers will play a pair of contests in Reading, before hoping to teach the Walleye a thing or two on their Education Day. Wheeling will then play all of Veteran's Day Weekend at home. Kalamazoo is the opponent for Veteran's Day, then it's the first two clashes with Fort Wayne after the epic seven-game playoff series which was won by the Nailers. Thanksgiving Week features a couple of home contests as well, starting with a visit from Indy on Thanksgiving Eve, and concluding with a tussle against Toledo on the Sunday.

The busiest month in terms of number of games is December, as Wheeling will take the ice 14 times. The month gets rolling with some playoff rematches, as the Nailers will play a home-and-home series against the Komets on the 2nd and 3rd, before the Walleye come in to finish of that weekend. Seven of the next nine games will be played on the road, before a two-game series against Reading closes out the 2022 calendar year on December 30th and 31st.

The New Year's Eve Weekend series starts a run in which eight of nine games will be played at home, leading up to the 2023 ECHL All-Star Classic in Norfolk. Part of that is a four-game home week, when Wheeling will challenge four different opponents - Reading, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati, and Kalamazoo. Hopefully, Nailers Nation will get their fill at the beginning of January, as the last two weeks of the month will both be spent on the road in Kalamazoo, Indy, and Kansas City.

The month with the most home games is February, as Wheeling will play eight of 12 games in front of its home fans, including three multi-game home weekends. Oddly enough, that month will only see three different opponents, as the Nailers will play five games each against Iowa and Norfolk, while Toledo gets sprinkled in twice.

The final two months of the campaign will test Wheeling's ability to play on the road, as 13 of the last 20 regular season contests will be played outside of West Virginia. Conveniently, most of those road games come in bunches, as the Nailers will have four trips of three games each, including three-game series in Norfolk and Iowa. After playing in Toledo's Education Day game in November, Wheeling will return the favor by hosting the Walleye in their Education Day game on March 8th. The Nailers will play their fourth and final home three-in-three in March, when they welcome Kalamazoo and Reading on the 24th, 25th, and 26th. The home portion of the regular season will wrap up with games against Iowa and Fort Wayne on April 7th and 8th, before Wheeling makes one final excursion out to Iowa to put a bow on the 2022-23 regular season.

2022-23 Opponent Breakdown
11 vs. Fort Wayne - 7 home, 4 away
11 vs. Toledo - 6 home, 5 away
10 vs. Iowa - 4 home, 6 away
8 vs. Norfolk - 5 home, 3 away
8 vs. Reading - 5 home, 3 away
8 vs. Cincinnati - 3 home, 5 away
7 vs. Kalamazoo - 4 home, 3 away
7 vs. Indy - 2 home, 5 away
2 vs. Kansas City - 2 away

2022-23 Schedule
Sat. Oct. 22 vs. Toledo, 7:10
Sun. Oct. 23 vs. Toledo, 4:10
Fri. Oct. 28 vs. Cincinnati, 7:10
Sun. Oct. 30 vs. Iowa, 4:10
Fri. Nov. 4 at Reading, 7:00
Sat. Nov. 5 at Reading, 7:00
Wed. Nov. 9 at Toledo, 10:35 a.m.
Fri. Nov. 11 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:10
Sat. Nov. 12 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Sun. Nov. 13 vs. Fort Wayne, 4:10
Fri. Nov. 18 at Toledo, 7:15
Sun. Nov. 20 at Indy, 5:00
Wed. Nov. 23 vs. Indy, 7:10
Fri. Nov. 25 at Kalamazoo, 7:00
Sun. Nov. 27 vs. Toledo, 4:10
Fri. Dec. 2 at Fort Wayne, 8:00
Sat. Dec. 3 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Sun. Dec. 4 vs. Toledo, 4:10
Wed. Dec. 7 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Fri. Dec. 9 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Sat. Dec. 10 at Kalamazoo, 7:00
Wed. Dec. 14 at Indy, 7:00
Fri. Dec. 16 vs. Indy, 7:10
Sat. Dec. 17 at Fort Wayne, 7:30
Sun. Dec. 18 vs. Cincinnati, 4:10
Fri. Dec. 23 at Toledo, 7:15
Wed. Dec. 28 at Reading, 7:00
Fri. Dec. 30 vs. Reading, 7:10
Sat. Dec. 31 vs. Reading, 6:10
Fri. Jan. 6 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Sat. Jan. 7 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Sun. Jan. 8 vs. Kalamazoo, 4:10
Wed. Jan. 11 vs. Reading, 7:10
Fri. Jan. 13 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Sat. Jan. 14 vs. Cincinnati, 7:10
Sun. Jan. 15 vs. Kalamazoo, 4:10
Sat. Jan. 21 at Kalamazoo, 7:00
Sun. Jan. 22 at Indy, 3:00
Fri. Jan. 27 at Kansas City, 8:05
Sat. Jan. 28 at Kansas City, 8:05
Fri. Feb. 3 vs. Iowa, 7:10
Sat. Feb. 4 vs. Iowa, 7:10
Sun. Feb. 5 at Toledo, 5:15
Wed. Feb. 8 vs. Toledo, 7:10
Fri. Feb. 10 vs. Norfolk, 7:10
Sat. Feb. 11 vs. Norfolk, 7:10
Fri. Feb. 17 at Iowa, 8:05
Sat. Feb. 18 at Iowa, 8:05
Sun. Feb. 19 at Iowa, 3:05
Fri. Feb. 24 vs. Norfolk, 7:10
Sat. Feb. 25 vs. Norfolk, 7:10
Sun. Feb. 26 vs. Norfolk, 4:10
Fri. Mar. 3 at Indy, 7:00
Sat. Mar. 4 at Fort Wayne, 7:30
Sun. Mar. 5 at Toledo, 5:15
Wed. Mar. 8 vs. Toledo, 10:45 a.m.
Fri. Mar. 10 at Fort Wayne, 8:00
Sat. Mar. 11 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Wed. Mar. 15 at Norfolk, 7:05
Fri. Mar. 17 at Norfolk, 7:05
Sat. Mar. 18 at Norfolk, 6:05
Fri. Mar. 24 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:10
Sat. Mar. 25 vs. Reading. 7:10
Sun. Mar. 26 vs. Reading, 4:10
Fri. Mar. 31 at Indy, 7:00
Sat. Apr. 1 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Sun. Apr. 2 at Cincinnati, 3:00
Fri. Apr. 7 vs. Iowa, 7:10
Sat. Apr. 8 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Wed. Apr. 12 at Iowa, 8:05
Fri. Apr. 14 at Iowa, 8:05
Sat. Apr. 15 at Iowa, 8:05