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TEAM NEWS 2023-24
Taylor Gauthier Earns Warrior ECHL Goalie of the Week for Third Time
League Leader in Wins Becomes Second Nailer to Earn Honor Three Times in One Season

WHEELING, WV- The ECHL has announced that Wheeling Nailers goaltender Taylor Gauthier has been named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goalie of the Week for the week of February 5-11.

Gauthier, 22, extended his personal winning streak to nine games, as he chalked up two home victories over the Reading Royals last week. Taylor denied 48 of the 49 shots he faced, with the Royals scoring their lone goal via a penalty shot on Friday night. In Friday's 2-1 overtime triumph, the Wheeling netminder made 13 of his 23 saves in the third period and overtime to set the table for Jordan Martel's heroics in the extra session. Then, on Saturday, Gauthier earned his third Wheeling shutout of the season with a 25-save performance. That marked the second time this season that Taylor blanked the opposition in the second of back-to-back starts on consecutive days.

The Calgary, Alberta native continues to shine in league rankings. His 18 wins, three shutouts, and 1,754 minutes played are all the most in the ECHL. He currently ranks second with a 2.29 goals against average, and fifth in both saves (785) and save percentage (.921). Gauthier has played in 27 of Wheeling's last 36 games, and has run his season record to 18-11-1. He is the second Nailers goaltender in the last eight seasons to record 18 victories, and his nine-game winning streak is the second longest by a netminder in team history (10 by David Brumby in 1997-98).

This is the third time this season that Gauthier has been named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goalie of the Week. He joins Mike Condon (2013-14) as the only two Wheeling goaltenders to earn the honor three times in the same season. He is the fifth Nailer to win the award at least three times overall, joining Condon, Joel Laing, Tyler MacKay, and Peter Delmas.

Taylor Gauthier and the Nailers will travel to Utah this week to play a three-game series against the Grizzlies, with the first game taking place on Friday at 9:10. Wheeling's next homestand will take place on February 23rd, 24th, and 25th. The highlight game of the weekend will be Country Night on Saturday the 24th, which features a post game concert by Jason Michael Carroll presented by Generations. he Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.

Jordan Martel Named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for Second Time in Three Weeks
Wheeling Sweeps Weekly League Awards for Third Time in Team History

WHEELING, WV- The ECHL has announced that Wheeling Nailers forward Jordan Martel has been named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for the week of February 5-11.

Martel, 25, continued his dominance of the Reading Royals last week, as he collected points in all three victories to help the Nailers match their longest winning streak in team history at 12 games in a row. On Tuesday morning, Jordan snapped a 1-1 tie early in the third period, then added an insurance goal less than five minutes later, as Wheeling was victorious, 3-1 at Santander Arena. On Friday night, the forward delivered the primary assist on Justin Addamo's winning strike at 3:21 of overtime, as the Nailers edged the Royals, 2-1. Martel put the exclamation point on the week on Saturday night, as he netted all three of Wheeling's goals for his second hat trick of the season in a 3-0 triumph in front of the third largest home crowd of the season. His final totals for the week were five goals, one assist, and six points, and he now has ten goals, four assists, and 14 points in six head-to-head games against Reading.

The Chicoutimi, Quebec native is now tied for Wheeling's team lead with 37 points on the season, and his 24 goals place him tied for third in the ECHL. Since being aquired in a trade from Utah on December 13th, Jordan has 18 goals, eight assists, and 26 points in 24 games. He has scored multiple goals in a game on four occasions, including two hat tricks against the Royals. Martel is the first Nailer to score multiple hat tricks against the same team in the same season since Bryan Ewing achieved the feat against Cincinnati in 2008-09. On Saturday night, the forward played in his 100th professional game. As a pro, he has 44 goals, 46 assists, and 90 points.

This is the third time that Jordan has earned Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week honors in his career, and the second time that he has won the award with the Nailers this season. He is the seventh Wheeling player to win be named ECHL Player of the Week multiple times, as he joins Nick Petersen, Cody Sylvester, Derek Army, Cam Brown, Nick Saracino, and Patrick Watling.

Jordan Martel and Taylor Gauthier become the first teammates to earn ECHL Player of the Week and ECHL Goalie of the Week in the same week since Utah's Matt Berry (player) and Joe Cannata (goalie) did so in November of 2019. They are the third Wheeling teammates to earn both awards in the same week, joining Nick Petersen (player) and Peter Delmas (goalie) in January of 2011, as well as Cody Sylvester (player) and Mike Condon (goalie) in March of 2014.

On behalf of Jordan, a case of pucks will be donated to a Wheeling youth hockey organization by Inglasco, the exclusive puck supplier of the ECHL. Since beginning its sponsorship of the award in 2000-01, Inglasco has donated more than 49,000 pucks to youth hockey organizations in ECHL cities.

Jordan Martel and the Nailers will travel to Utah this week to play a three-game series against the Grizzlies, with the first game taking place on Friday at 9:10. Wheeling's next homestand will take place on February 23rd, 24th, and 25th. The highlight game of the weekend will be Country Night on Saturday the 24th, which features a post game concert by Jason Michael Carroll presented by Generations. he Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.

Jordan Martel Named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week
Forward Tallied Five Goals & Eight Points in Three-Game Sweep at Reading

WHEELING, WV- The ECHL has announced that Wheeling Nailers forward Jordan Martel has been named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for the week of January 22-28.

Martel, 25, helped to lead the Nailers to a three-game road sweep of the Reading Royals last week, as the team racked up 21 goals, and ran its active winning streak to five games. On Wednesday night, Jordan played a key role in Wheeling's 5-4 overtime win, as he scored two goals to help the club overcome a pair of two-goal deficits, then set up Lukas Svejkovsky's winning tally. On Friday night, the Nailers completely dominated Reading to the tune of an 8-3 final score, and the forward was involved in half of the goals. Martel became the second Wheeling player this season to net a hat trick, and he added an assist for a four-point performance. Jordan tacked on one more assist in Saturday's 8-2 trouncing of the Royals, which saw every Nailer record at least one point. His final totals for the week were five goals, three assists, and eight points.

The Chicoutimi, Quebec native was acquired by the Nailers from the Utah Grizzlies on December 13th, and has been the team's top scorer since that date. Martel has 12 goals, six assists, and 18 points in 17 games in a Wheeling uniform to bring his season totals up to 18 goals, 11 assists, and 29 points in 33 games. The 18 goals already match his final total from last season, when he split the year between Utah and Fort Wayne. Jordan has appeared in 93 career ECHL matches, and has accumulated 38 goals, 44 assists, and 82 points.

This is the second time that Martel has earned Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week honors, as his eight points in the final week of the 2022-23 season helped Utah clinch the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division. He is the first Wheeling player to earn the honor since Patrick Watling (February 21-27, 2022), and the third Nailer to earn ECHL recognition this season (Cédric Desruisseaux - Player of the Month, Taylor Gauthier - Goalie of the Week twice).

On behalf of Jordan, a case of pucks will be donated to a Wheeling youth hockey organization by Inglasco, the exclusive puck supplier of the ECHL. Since beginning its sponsorship of the award in 2000-01, Inglasco has donated more than 49,000 pucks to youth hockey organizations in ECHL cities.

Jordan Martel and the Nailers will play one more road game on Wednesday night at 7:35, when they visit the Cincinnati Cyclones. Wheeling's next home game is Friday, February 2nd against Orlando at 7:10, which is a Frosty Friday. Saturday, February 3rd is Pups & Pucks Night, when fans can bring their dog to the game and meet Clifford the Big Red Dog, courtesy of WVPB. The next Big Six Promotional Game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 10th, starring two-time Stanley Cup Champion Trevor Daley.

Taylor Gauthier Named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goalie of the Week
Netminder Wins the Honor for the Second Time With 53 Saves on 55 Shots

WHEELING, WV- The ECHL has announced that Wheeling Nailers goaltender Taylor Gauthier has been named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goalie of the Week of the week of January 15-21.

Gauthier, 22, led the Nailers to a weekend sweep on the road against the Iowa Heartlanders last week, and did so while allowing only two total goals. On Friday night, Taylor denied 28 of the 29 shots he faced, and was perfect when the teams were at even strength in Wheeling's 4-1 triumph. On Saturday night, the netminder thwarted 25 of 26 Iowa attempts, including all 13 in the third period to preserve a one-goal lead in an eventual 3-1 victory. This is the second time this season that Gauthier has won games on consecutive nights, and both times have seen him earn ECHL hardware.

The Calgary, Alberta native is having a spectacular season with the Nailers, as he currently leads the ECHL in goals against average (2.26), save percentage (.927), and is tied for the lead in shutouts (2). He also ranks in the top five in minutes (5th - 1328) and saves (638). On Saturday, Gauthier collected his first assist of the season on Tanner Laderoute's empty net goal. Last week's performance gives Taylor an 11-11-1 mark for the season and a 19-18-2 record in 39 games with Wheeling.

This is the second time this season that Gauthier has been named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goalie of the Week, as he also received the honor for the week of December 11-17. He is the eighth Wheeling goaltender all-time to earn the award multiple times in the same season, and the first since Mike Condon in 2013-14.

Taylor Gauthier and the Nailers will continue their six-game road stretch in Reading, where they will face the Royals on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, all with 7:00 face-offs. Wheeling's next home game is Friday, February 2nd against Orlando at 7:10, which is a Frosty Friday. Saturday, February 3rd is Pups & Pucks Night, when fans can bring their dog to the game and meet Clifford the Big Red Dog, courtesy of WVPB. The next Big Six Promotional Game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on Saturday, February 10th, starring two-time Stanley Cup Champion Trevor Daley.

Dillon Hamaliuk Named to 2024 ECHL All-Star Classic
Wheeling's Leading Scorer to Join League's Best in Savannah on January 15th

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, in conjunction with the ECHL, are excited to announce that forward Dillon Hamaliuk has been selected to play in the 2024 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Gulfstream.

Hamaliuk, 23, is enjoying a fantastic start to his first season with the Nailers, as he currently leads the team with 11 goals, 15 assists, and 26 points in 24 games. After missing the majority of the 2022-23 campaign due to injury, Dillon began to find his offensive stride during Wheeling's opening homestand. The forward recorded points in six consecutive contests and ten of 11, which spanned most of November. Hamaliuk is tied for the team lead with seven multi-point games, and ranks second on the club in power play goals (4) and +/- (+14).

This is the Leduc, Alberta native's third season of professional hockey, and first in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, as he was acquired in an NHL trade this summer from the San Jose Sharks. San Jose originally selected Dillon in the second round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, and he spent one season each with the San Jose Barracuda and Wichita Thunder. Hamaliuk has averaged over a point per game in the ECHL, as he has 33 points in 30 career matches at this level.

The 2024 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic presented by Gulfstream will be played in Savannah, Georgia on Monday, January 15th at 7:00. The game will air live exclusively on NHL Network and be streamed via FloHockey. The event will consist of the host Savannah Ghost Pirates taking on a team of ECHL All-Stars representing the other teams in the League. The event also will feature several Skills events which will count as a goal towards the winning Player’s team score. The 2024 ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place between periods of the game, with results counting towards the cumulative score. The first two periods of the game will be 5-on-5 while the final period will consist of 3-on-3.

The 16th class of the ECHL Hall of Fame will be officially inducted at a luncheon at noon on the same day as the All-Star Classic. Brad Dexter, Shawn Wheeler, Scott Burfoot, Jason Fitzsimmons, and June M. Kelly are this year's inductees.

2024 ECHL All-Stars
Determined in a vote of coaches, team captains, media relations directors, broadcasters, and members of the media.

Goaltenders
Ryan Bednard, Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Peyton Jones, Iowa Heartlanders
Thomas Milic, Norfolk Admirals

Defensemen
Kris Myllari, Allen Americans
Jalen Smereck, Cincinnati Cyclones
Nathan Staios, Florida Everblades
Gabriel Chicoine, Maine Mariners
Jonny Tychonick, Newfoundland Growlers
Connor Moore, South Carolina Stingrays
Luka Profaca, Tulsa Oilers
Kyle Mayhew, Utah Grizzlies
Trevor Cosgrove, Worcester Railers

Forwards
Patrick Grasso, Adirondack Thunder
Mitch Fossier, Atlanta Gladiators
Jack Dugan, Fort Wayne Komets
Mark Rassell, Idaho Steelheads
Cameron Hillis, Indy Fuel
Brendan Harris, Jacksonville Icemen
Ty Glover, Kalamazoo Wings
Max Andreev, Kansas City Mavericks
Mitchell Hoelscher, Orlando Solar Bears
Alex Aleardi, Rapid City Rush
Matt Brown, Reading Royals
Brandon Hawkins, Toledo Walleye
Anthony Beauregard, Trois-Rivières Lions
Dillon Hamaliuk, Wheeling Nailers
Peter Bates, Wichita Thunder

Taylor Gauthier Named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Week
Second Year Netminder Stopped 56 of 57 Shots & Earned Fourth Pro Shutout

WHEELING, WV- The ECHL has announced that Wheeling Nailers goaltender Taylor Gauthier has been named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goalie of the Week for the week of December 11-17.

Gauthier, 22, played and won both of Wheeling's games last week. On Friday, he made 24 saves on 25 shots, as the Nailers defeated the Indy Fuel, 4-1. Then, on Saturday, he stared down one of the top offensive clubs in the ECHL, and denied all 32 shots he faced, as Wheeling blanked the Cincinnati Cyclones, 3-0. Taylor concluded the weekend with a shutout streak of 106:30. Saturday's shutout was Gauthier's third this season, as he blanked Kalamazoo on December 3rd and also had an AHL shutout with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins against the Syracuse Crunch on November 10th.

The Calgary, Alberta native is enjoying an outstanding second professional season, as he currently ranks second in the ECHL with a 2.14 goals against average and second with a .928 save percentage. Taylor has an 8-5-1 record with the Nailers this season, and has allowed three goals or fewer in 13 of his 14 starts. In his career, Gauthier has appeared in 53 games between Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and has gone 25-16-9.

Gauthier is the second Nailer to earn an ECHL honor this season, following Cédric Desruisseaux, who was ECHL Player of the Month in October. Taylor is the second Wheeling goaltender in the last seven seasons to win ECHL Goaltender of the Week, joining Louis-Philip Guindon in April, 2022. He is also the first Nailer with multiple shutouts in the same season since Matt O'Connor in 2018-19.

Taylor Gauthier and the Wheeling Nailers will play their final game before the holiday break on Friday, when they go to Cincinnati for a 7:35 face-off. Wheeling's next two home contests will take place on New Year's Weekend, when the Norfolk Admirals come to town for a series on Saturday, December 30th at 7:10 and Sunday, December 31st at 6:10. The highlight game of that weekend is Sunday, which is Kids New Year's Eve, featuring an interactive light show, free sparkling grape juice, as well as New Year's hats and noisemakers. That will also be a Screen Time Sunday in which one lucky fan will win a new TV courtesy of Walmart, and $2 ice cream sundaes will be available at Flurry's. The next Big Six Promotional Game is Super Nailers World on Saturday, January 13th. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Acquire Jordan Martel in Trade With Utah
Forward Averaged Nearly a Point Per Game for Grizzlies

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a trade, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has acquired forward Jordan Martel from the Utah Grizzlies in exchange for defenseman Quinn Wichers and future considerations.

Martel, 25, is currently playing in his second full season in the ECHL, and is about to join his third team, after spending time with the Fort Wayne Komets and Utah Grizzlies. Jordan began his pro career at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season, and scored his first two goals in the regular season finale against the Nailers. The forward started the 2022-23 campaign with six points in 13 games for Fort Wayne, before being dealt to Utah, where his play took off. Martel averaged nearly a point per game following the trade, as he racked up 18 goals, 26 assists, and 44 points in 45 contests with the Grizzlies. He recorded at least one point in 15 of the season's final 17 games, and scored at least one goal in 11 of them, as Utah captured the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division. The native of Chicoutimi, Québec comes to Wheeling with six goals, five assists, and 11 points in 16 games this season, and has recorded at least one shot in 15 of the 16 matches. Prior to turning pro, Jordan played four seasons of junior hockey with the QMJHL's Baie-Comeau Drakkar, then attended the University of Québec at Trois-Rivières for two years.

Wichers, 26, was limited to just three games with the Nailers, as he began his third professional season. Quinn returns to the Mountain Division, where he has spent the majority of his career, as he appeared in 93 regular season games and 11 postseasons contests in two seasons with the Rapid City Rush. The Metcalfe, Ontario native was a consistent producer for the Rush, as he posted back-to-back ten-point campaigns, in addition to suiting up in 26 AHL games with the Tucson Roadrunners and San Diego Gulls.

The Nailers will continue their four-game homestand with two games this weekend. Wheeling will host Indy on Friday at 7:10, which will be a Frosty Friday and Ugly Sweater Night. Then, on Saturday, Cincinnati comes to town for a 7:10 face-off. Some other exciting upcoming promotions include Kids New Year's Eve on December 31st, and the next Big Six Promotional Game - Super Nailers World on January 13th. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Cédric Desruisseaux Named Warrior Hockey ECHL Player of the Month
Third Year Forward Posted Three Straight Multi-Point Games to Start Season

WHEELING, WV- The ECHL has announced that Wheeling Nailers forward Cédric Desruisseaux has been named the Warrior Hockey ECHL Player of the Month for October.

Desruisseaux, 23, got his third professional season started with a phenomenal road trip, as he collected multiple points in all three of Wheeling's contests to help the club to a 2-1-0 record. On Opening Night, Cédric snapped a 1-1 tie in the first period, then added another goal as well as an assist, as the Nailers defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones, 4-1. Then, on October 27th, the Warwick, Québec native posted a four-point game with one goal and three assists, as Wheeling cruised past the Kalamazoo Wings, 7-2 on orange ice. His goal tied the contest at two, following a successful 1:57 penalty kill of a 5-on-3. Finally, Desruisseaux dished out two assists on October 28th against the Fort Wayne Komets. Cédric concluded October with three goals, six assists, and nine points in three games.

This is Desruisseaux's third season with the Nailers, as he was originally acquired in a trade with the Trois-Rivières Lions in March of 2022. Cédric recorded seven points in 11 regular season games at the end of that year, then added a pair of assists in seven playoff clashes. Last season, Desruisseaux led Wheeling in all offensive categories with 30 goals 29 assists, and 59 points, and was one of three players to appear in all 72 regular season games. His second point on Saturday was the 100th of his 128-game professional career between Wheeling, Trois-Rivières, and the AHL's Laval Rocket.

The ECHL Player of the Month first got awarded during the 1996-97 season, and Desruisseaux is the sixth Wheeling player to win the award. The previous five winners were Steve Gibson (March, 1997), Brendon Hodge (April, 2006), Tommy Goebel (October, 2008), Ben Street (December, 2010), and Cam Brown (December, 2018).

Cédric Desruisseaux and the Wheeling Nailers will begin their home season on Saturday night at 7:10, when they play the first of two games this weekend against the Reading Royals. Opening Night will feature Mad Chad Taylor - the chainsaw juggler, as well as a magnetic schedule giveaway, and the debut of Nail Ale by Big Timber Brewing. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Announce 2023-24 Season-Opening Roster & Captains
Justin Addamo Wears the "C", as Wheeling Opens Season 32 at Cincinnati on Saturday

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 2023-24 Season-Opening Roster and captains, as the team prepares to open its 32nd season on Saturday night with a road contest against the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Head Coach Derek Army begins his fourth season behind the bench for the Nailers, as he ranks sixth on the team's all-time list with 72 head coaching wins. Mitch Giguere enters his first season as Wheeling's assistant coach with over a decade of coaching experience at a variety of levels. Equipment Manager Bill Higgins is the longest tenured member of the organization, as the Wheeling, West Virginia native starts his 21st season with the club. Lauren Rittle heads into her second season as the Athletic Trainer, and is one of five females to hold that role in the ECHL.

The captain of the 2023-24 Nailers is second year forward Justin Addamo. The 6-foot-6 forward made his presence felt in his rookie campaign, as he racked up 21 goals and 33 points in 42 ECHL games, in addition to five goals in 14 AHL matches. A native of Clermont-Ferrand, France, Addamo will be the second ever European captain for Wheeling, joining Stefan Brannare, who was the captain in 2000-01. The team will begin the season with two alternate captains, and both are second year defensemen - Louis Roehl and Davis Bunz. Both players served as more traditional defensive defensemen in college, before seeing their offensive games expand in the pros, as each player eclipsed the 20-point plateau. Roehl, who attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth, had 24 points in 60 games, while Bunz, who attended Providence College, registered 23 points in 58 games.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins put their stamp on Wheeling's roster, as seven players have either an NHL or AHL contract, including the aforementioned Addamo. Goaltender Taylor Gauthier and forward Jordan Frasca both enter their second seasons in the organization, and both spent time with the Nailers a year ago. Gauthier turned in a 16-10-7 record between the AHL and ECHL last season, while Frasca tallied 12 points in 36 games with Wheeling. Forward Lukas Svejkovsky spent all of last season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and the 2020 draft pick collected 15 points in 47 games as a rookie. Forward Dillon Hamaliuk was acquired by Pittsburgh from San Jose this summer, and the 2019 draft pick has enjoyed success in his short time in the ECHL, as he put up seven points in six games with the Wichita Thunder. Forward Evan Vierling makes the jump to the pro game, after concluding his junior hockey career with a 95-point season as a member of the OHL's Barrie Colts. Defenseman Thimo Nickl will be the first Austrian in team history, as he will make his North American pro debut, following three seasons in Sweden. Nickl was originally selected by Anaheim in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

The 2023-24 roster features a lot of familiar faces, as there are 12 more returning players joining the players mentioned above. Defenseman David Drake is the active player with the most games in Wheeling, as he has played in 112 contests since being acquired from the Reading Royals in 2021-22. Drake was tied for the team lead with a +12 rating last season, was one of three players to appear in all 72 games, and is the club's lone veteran with 262 pro games under his belt. One of the other players to play in every game was forward Cédric Desruisseaux, who had an explosive offensive season, as he led the Nailers with 30 goals and 59 points. Two other players are returning for their third journeys in Wheeling - forwards Bobby Hampton and Félix Paré. Both players finished last year with 15 points, and both have shown the ability to play various roles in the lineup. Forward Peter Laviolette III will begin his second season in his hometown, after posting 11 points and 96 penalty minutes on the ice, and earning the team's Community Award for his efforts around the Ohio Valley. Forwards Matthew Quercia and Shaw Boomhower are back after missing the majority of last season due to injuries. Quercia scored the winning goal in overtime of game seven of the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs against Fort Wayne, while Boomhower's 127 penalty minutes in 2021-22 make him a feared opponent when he steps onto the ice.

Five returning players are still considered rookies, as they joined the Nailers late last season, following the conclusion of their collegiate careers. Forward Jarrett Lee was one of the first to arrive on the scene, as he needed less than seven minutes to notch a point in his pro debut on March 15th. He finished with eight points in 13 contests. Forward Matt Koopman also debuted on March 15th, and his first point came two nights later, as he assisted on the tying goal in Wheeling's eventual overtime victory. Next up was forward Tanner Laderoute, who was teammates with Roehl and Lee at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. A former NCAA National Champion, Laderoute collected seven points in his first 11 tilts as a Nailer. As March came to an end, forward David Jankowski's career was just beginning. Jankowski finished the year on a five-game point streak, as he totaled six points during that stretch. Sebastian Dirven was the lone defenseman out of the group, but he also showed a flare for offense, as he amassed three points in back-to-back home wins.

There are three players who are brand new to the Friendly City. Goaltender David Tendeck enters his fourth pro campaign, after spending the first three in the Arizona Coyotes organization between the AHL and ECHL levels. Tendeck earned 12 wins a year ago with the Atlanta Gladiators, placing him second on the club. He was teammates with defenseman Quinn Wichers in 2021-22, as Wichers played the majority of his first two pro seasons with the Rapid City Rush. Quinn has played in 119 pro games, which includes time in the AHL with the Tucson Roadrunners and San Diego Gulls. Defenseman Avery Winslow will make his pro debut this season, after playing three seasons of junior hockey in the OHL. Winslow got valuable playoff experience in the spring, as his North Bay Battalion reached the conference final.

Prior to final rosters being submitted, the Nailers made a trade with the Florida Everblades. Wheeling dealt forward Cam Hausinger to the Florida Everblades in exchange for the rights to defenseman Brandon Hickey (currently with Henderson [AHL]), as well as future considerations.

Catch all of the action all season long on the Nailers Broadcast Network presented by Main Street Bank. All of the games will air on radio on Mix 97.3 and stream on FloHockey. 20 home games will be televised on COMET TV. DJ Abisalih returns for his 13th season as the Voice of the Nailers, and is joined on the home broadcasts by fourth year Color Commentator Isaac Basinger.

The Nailers are just a few days away from the beginning of their 32nd season, as they will drop the puck in Cincinnati on Saturday at 7:35. That will be followed by two additional road matches, before Wheeling plays its home opener against Reading on November 4th at 7:10. Opening Night will feature Mad Chad Taylor - the chainsaw juggler, as well as a magnetic schedule giveaway, and the debut of Nail Ale by Big Timber Brewing. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.

2023-24 Wheeling Nailers Season-Opening Roster
#4-D-Quinn Wichers
#5-D-David Drake
#6-D-Sebastian Dirven
#7-D-Davis Bunz
#8-D-Avery Winslow
#9-F-Tanner Laderoute
#10-F-David Jankowski
#11-F-Peter Laviolette III
#12-F-Jarrett Lee
#13-F-Matthew Quercia
#14-F-Jordan Frasca
#15-F-Bobby Hampton
#18-F-Shaw Boomhower
#19-F-Félix Paré
#20-F-Justin Addamo
#21-F-Cédric Desruisseaux
#28-D-Louie Roehl
#33-G-Taylor Gauthier
#35-G-David Tendeck
#36-F-Matt Koopman
#41-F-Evan Vierling
#70-F-Dillon Hamaliuk
#72-F-Lukas Svejkovsky
#82-D-Thimo Nickl

Nailers Receive Eight Players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Training Camp Roster Grows to 29

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced that eight players have been added to their training camp roster. All eight players are coming from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

In goal, Taylor Gauthier returns for his second professional season. Gauthier started last year in Wheeling, then played the entire second half of the campaign for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Between the two levels, he posted a 16-10-7 record in 36 appearances.

On the blueline, the Nailers received rookie Thimo Nickl. Nickl is a 21-year old native of Austria, who is set to make his North American pro debut, after playing the last three seasons in Sweden. He was originally selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

There are six forwards on their way to the Friendly City, and two of those were members of last year's squad. Justin Addamo had an enormous rookie season with 21 goals and 33 points in 42 ECHL games, as well as five AHL goals, which helped him earn an AHL contract from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Jordan Frasca is beginning the second season of his three-year NHL entry level contract. Frasca collected 12 points in 36 games with the Nailers, and really hit his stride in March, when he scored four times in a five-game span.

2020 fourth-round draft pick Lukas Svejkovsky begins his second pro season, after recording 15 points as a rookie with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Svejkovsky had electric numbers in juniors, as he finished the 2021-22 season with 76 points in 57 games. Ty Glover also enters his second season in the organization, after tallying seven goals and 12 points for the AHL Penguins a year ago. Glover will be the fourth player in team history from England. Dillon Hamaliuk was acquired by Pittsburgh in a trade with the San Jose Sharks over the summer. Hamaliuk spent the majority of the 2021-22 season with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, then amassed seven points in six games last year with the Wichita Thunder. Evan Vierling earned an AHL contract this summer, following an outstanding conclusion to his junior career. Vierling finished fifth in the OHL with 95 points as a member of the Barrie Colts.

Wheeling's training camp roster now consists of 18 forwards, eight defensemen, and three goalies for a total of 29 players.

The Nailers will have an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday at 7:10, followed by a preseason game against Cincinnati on Sunday at 2:10. Both contests are free to attend with open seating.

The 2023-24 regular season begins on Saturday, October 21st, when Wheeling visits Cincinnati at 7:35. The home opener is Saturday, November 4th at 7:10 against Reading. Mad Chad Taylor will be the star of the night, as he juggles chainsaws. That night will also feature a magnetic schedule giveaway and the debut of Big Timber Brewing's Nail Ale. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.

Updated 2023 Wheeling Nailers Training Camp Roster
#4 D Quinn Wichers
#5 D David Drake
#6 D Sebastian Dirven
#7 D Davis Bunz
#8 D Avery Winslow
#9 F Tanner Laderoute
#10 F David Jankowski
#11 F Peter Laviolette III
#12 F Jarrett Lee
#13 F Matthew Quercia
#14 F Jordan Frasca
#15 F Bobby Hampton
#16 F Cam Hausinger
#17 F Dominiks Marcinkevics
#18 F Shaw Boomhower
#19 F Félix Paré
#20 F Justin Addamo
#21 F Cédric Desruisseaux
#22 D Jeff Solow
#28 D Louie Roehl
#31 G Oskar Autio
#33 G Taylor Gauthier
#35 G David Tendeck
#36 F Matt Koopman
#41 F Evan Vierling
#51 F Ty Glover
#70 F Dillon Hamaliuk
#72 F Lukas Svejkovsky
#82 D Thimo Nickl

Nailers Announce 2023 Training Camp Roster & Schedule
21 Players to Take the Ice at WesBanco Arena on Tuesday

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their 2023 training camp schedule and roster.

The Nailers will open their 2023 training camp on Tuesday, October 10th at 10:00 a.m. The practice will be separated into two groups, with one skating from 10:00-11:15, then the other from 11:40-1:00. Practices on Wednesday, October 11th and Thursday, October 12th will also be split into two groups, but with an added twist - both days will feature a scrimmage from 11:00-11:45. Friday, October 13th will be a quick morning, with the groups taking morning skates from 10:00-10:30 and 10:30-11:00. That night will feature an intrasquad scrimmage, which starts at 7:10. After a light day on Saturday, the first week will conclude with a preseason game against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Sunday, October 15th at 2:10. All practices are open to the public, and fans must stay in the seating bowl, as ice level access is not permitted. The intrasquad scrimmage and preseason game are both free to attend with open seating.

Head Coach Derek Army and Assistant Coach Mitch Giguere have compiled a roster of 12 forwards, seven defensemen, and two goaltenders for a total of 21 players to begin training camp.

Starting in the goal crease, the Nailers begin training camp with two netminders. David Tendeck is entering his fourth pro season, after spending his first three years in the Arizona Coyotes organization. Tendeck went 12-12-5 with the Atlanta Gladiators last season, and also earned a victory for the AHL's Tucson Roadrunners. Oskar Autio made his first pro start in last year's season finale, as he made 19 saves on 22 shots for the Nailers in Iowa. Autio played collegiately at Penn State and the University of Vermont.

On the blueline, David Drake returns to anchor the defense, after being one of three Wheeling players to play in all 72 games a year ago. Drake is the lone veteran on this year's squad, as he has played in 262 professional games. Louie Roehl and Davis Bunz return for their second pro seasons, and the two had nearly identical numbers in their rookie campaigns. Roehl finished with 24 points in 60 games, while Bunz recorded 23 points in 58 games. Sebastian Dirven is the final returning member of the defense, as he began his pro career with three points in four contests during the spring.

There are three newcomers to the defense. Quinn Wichers was acquired by the Nailers in a trade this summer, and he is entering his third pro season. Wichers spent the majority of his first two years playing a shutdown role for the Rapid City Rush, while mixing in AHL stints with Tucson and San Diego. Jeff Solow returns to North America, after playing 18 games with the EIHL's Glasgow Clan last season. Solow has played for Iowa and Worcester in the ECHL. Avery Winslow is set to make his pro debut, after concluding his junior career with the OHL's North Bay Battalion. Winslow is coming off of a deep playoff run, as the Battalion finished with the second best record in the OHL and reached the conference final round.

Up front, leading scorer Cédric Desruisseaux returns, after lighting the lamp 30 times, while adding 29 assists, and playing in all 72 games a year ago. Félix Paré is back for his third season in a Wheeling uniform, as he raised his point total last year, despite playing in 14 fewer games due to injury. Speaking of injuries, Matthew Quercia and Shaw Boomhower are looking forward to putting those behind them and finding their magic from the 2021-22 season. Quercia scored the infamous overtime goal in game seven to defeat Fort Wayne, while Boomhower led the team with 127 penalty minutes and chipped into the offense with 13 points. Cam Hausinger begins his third season in Wheeling, after recording 62 points in 87 regular season games, in addition to nine goals in ten playoff contests. Bobby Hampton is also entering his third campaign with the Nailers, as he has 32 points in 93 games over his first two seasons with the club. Wheeling, West Virginia native Peter Laviolette III is back for year number two with his hometown team, as he put up 11 points and 96 penalty minutes.

Four players who joined the Nailers at the end of last season have returned for what will officially be their rookie seasons, after getting an initial taste of the pro game. Jarrett Lee wasted little time in making a name for himself, as he notched three points in his pro debut. He finished with eight points in 13 matches. Tanner Laderoute won an NCAA National Championship at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and is looking to bring that winning formula to Wheeling, where he registered seven points in his first 11 pro contests. David Jankowski found the net often in the spring, as he racked up three goals and six points in seven games with the Nailers. Matt Koopman also put his name onto the scoresheet with great frequency, as he snagged seven points in his first 14 games. Additionally, Dominiks Marcinkevics will be making his Wheeling and ECHL debut, but already has a year of pro hockey under his belt, as he totaled 32 points in 53 games last season with the SPHL's Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs.

2023 Wheeling Nailers Training Camp Roster
#4 D Quinn Wichers
#5 D David Drake
#6 D Sebastian Dirven
#7 D Davis Bunz
#8 D Avery Winslow
#9 F Tanner Laderoute
#10 F David Jankowski
#11 F Peter Laviolette III
#12 F Jarrett Lee
#13 F Matthew Quercia
#15 F Bobby Hampton
#16 F Cam Hausinger
#17 D Dominiks Marcinkevics
#18 F Shaw Boomhower
#19 F Félix Paré
#21 F Cédric Desruisseaux
#22 D Jeff Solow
#28 D Louie Roehl
#31 G Oskar Autio
#35 G David Tendeck
#36 F Matt Koopman

2023 Wheeling Nailers Training Camp Schedule
Tue. Oct. 10- Practice at WesBanco Arena, 10:00 a.m.
Wed. Oct. 11- Practice at WesBanco Arena, 10:00 a.m.
                      Scrimmage, 11:00 a.m.
Thu. Oct. 12- Practice at WesBanco Arena, 10:00 a.m.
                     Scrimmage, 11:00 a.m.
Fri. Oct. 13- Morning Skate at WesBanco Arena, 10:00 a.m.
                   Intrasquad Scrimmage, 7:10 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 14- TBD
Sun. Oct. 15- Preseason Game vs. Cincinnati, 2:10 p.m.

Nailers Sign Phil Beaulieu
Offensive Defenseman Led Allen in Blueline Scoring During 2021-22 Season

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 18th player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has signed defenseman Phi Beaulieu to an ECHL contract.

Beaulieu, 28, was originally acquired by the Nailers in June to complete a future considerations trade with the Worcester Railers. Phil will be entering his fourth professional season, after spending the majority of his first three years in the ECHL with Worcester and the Allen Americans. One of the blueliner's biggest strengths is his offensive game, and in 2021-22, he led Allen in scoring by defensemen with eight goals, 30 assists, and 38 points in 61 games. Over the course of his ECHL career, Beaulieu has amassed 13 goals, 65 assists, and 78 points in 141 games. He also appeared in one AHL contest with the AHL's Iowa Wild as a rookie in 2020-21. Additionally, Phil reached the playoffs in both of his seasons with the Americans.

"Phil has done a great job of producing offense from the blueline in this league," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He has experience playing in key games for good teams, and we are looking forward to seeing him elevate our defense this season."

Prior to turning pro, the Duluth, Minnesota native attended Northern Michigan University for four years. Phil earned lots of accolades with the Wildcats, as he was a Second-Team All-American and All-WCHA Second Team member as a sophomore, WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-WCHA as a junior, and a nominee for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award during his senior year, when he was the team's captain. Beaulieu was Northern Michigan's top defensive scorer in three of his four seasons, as he finished with 26 goals, 95 assists, and 121 points in 158 games. His most productive year was his sophomore season, when he racked up 11 goals, 31 assists, and 42 points in 43 games.

Phil Beaulieu and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Sign David Tendeck
Arizona Coyotes Draft Pick Enters Fourth Pro Season

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 17th player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has signed goaltender David Tendeck to an ECHL contract.

Tendeck, 23, is entering his fourth professional season, after spending the first three years of his career in the Arizona Coyotes organization. David played the majority of two seasons with the Rapid City Rush, and finished with a save percentage over .900 in both campaigns. He then followed Arizona's affiliation change to the Atlanta Gladiators and finished second on the team with 12 wins in 2022-23. Tendeck saw AHL action in back-to-back seasons with the Tucson Roadrunners, as he posted a 2.64 goals against average and a .914 save percentage in nine appearances.

"David is a great goaltender, who has had success in both the AHL and ECHL, and we are very excited to have him in our organization," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He is extremely passionnate about winning, and we are looking forward to having his energy on our team."

Prior to turning pro, the North Vancouver, British Columbia native played four full seasons of junior hockey with the WHL's Vancouver Giants. Tendeck's junior career began to take off in 2017-18, when he finished ninth in the WHL with 25 wins, which led him to being selected by the Coyotes in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. David followed that up by leading the Giants to the Ed Chynoweth Cup Final, thanks to playoff series wins over Seattle, Victoria, and Spokane. The netminder saved his best statistical season for last in Vancouver, as he wrapped up his junior career with a 2.29 goals against average and a .920 save percentage at age 20.

David Tendeck and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Cam Hausinger
Third Year Pro has 62 Points in 87 Games with Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 16th player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Cam Hausinger to an ECHL contract.

Hausinger, 24, becomes the fifth player signing this summer who will begin his third season as a member of the Nailers. Cam first joined the team as a rookie in 2021, and enjoyed a terrific season, as he led Wheeling rookies with 21 goals, while contributing 22 assists for 43 points. The forward shined the brightest during the playoff push, as he scored two goals in the clinching 3-2 win over Kalamazoo on April 13th, then took charge with nine goals and ten points in the postseason. Hausinger was nearly a point-per-game player last season in his time with the Nailers, as he accumulated 19 points in 23 games on five goals and 14 assists. Cam also got his first taste of AHL action with the Milwaukee Admirals and Iowa Wild, in addition to attending NHL training camp with the Nashville Predators.

"Cam was a huge part of our team's success two seasons ago, as he helped lead us to the playoffs, where he took his game to a new level," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "Last year, he continued to grow, as he reached the AHL. I am excited to have him, as I expect him to play a major role both on the ice and in the locker room."

Prior to turning pro, the Anchorage, Alaska native played five seasons of junior hockey in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades, Red Deer Rebels, and Kootenay Ice. Cam posted back-to-back 21-goal seasons in 2017-18 and 2018-19, with the latter being his best individual campaign, as he finished with 54 points in 67 games. Overall, Hausinger recorded 68 goals, 93 assists, and 161 points in 317 games at the major junior level.

Cam is one of three members of the Hausinger family to play in the ECHL, as his older brothers Kenny and Christian have both played in the league. Cam and Kenny played against each other six times during the 2021-22 season.

Cam Hausinger and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Announce 2023 Exhibition Schedule
Wheeling Will Host Two Games - Both Free to Attend

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their 2023 exhibition schedule.

Before the Nailers face another ECHL opponent, the home fans will get the opportunity to see their full team first. There will be an intrasquad scrimmage at WesBanco Arena on Friday, October 13th at 7:10. Two days later, there will be an opening night preview, as Wheeling will host the Cincinnati Cyclones on Sunday, October 15th at 2:10. The Nailers and Cyclones will meet up in the preseason for the first time since 2018, before launching what is sure to be an electric eight-game regular season series the following weekend at Heritage Bank Center.

Both exhibition matches are free to attend with open seating, as Wheeling looks forward to a thrilling 2023-24 season.

The home opener is less than two months away, as the Nailers will host the Reading Royals on Saturday, November 4th at 7:10, starring Mad Chad Taylor the Chainsaw Juggler. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE
Fri. Oct. 13 - Intrasquad Scrimmage, 7:10
Sun. Oct. 15 - Nailers vs. Cincinnati, 2:10

Nailers Name Mitch Giguere as Assistant Coach
Québec Native Brings Over a Decade of Coaching Experience to Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that Mitch Giguere has been named the team's new Assistant Coach.

Giguere, 37, has held a wide variety of roles in hockey over the past decade, as he has served as a coach, general manager, scout, and team consultant. Mitch began his coaching journey in 2008 when his playing career ended, and has since advanced to coach in prestigious leagues such as the Kontinental Hockey League, the Québec Major Junior Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. One of his greatest accomplishments came in 2021-22, when he returned to North America with Longueuil Collège-Français and won the Napa Cup as a QJHL Champion. Giguere also earned a certified Canadian Sport Institute Advanced Coaching Diploma, which took two years of studying to achieve.

"I am very excited to have Mitch on our staff this season," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He has an excellent and diverse background in the hockey world, thanks to the people he's worked with, as well as the places and leagues he's worked in. He will bring a new perspective to our team, and I am looking forward to working with him on a personal and professional level."

In addition to the team successes he has enjoyed, the Montréal, Québec native has also played a large role in developing players, and seeing those players reach the highest levels of professional hockey. One of the most recent players Mitch coached was Pittsburgh Penguins 2022 first round draft pick Owen Pickering, when Pickering was an Elite 15 at RINK Hockey Academy, with fellow NHL draft picks Daimon Gardner and Josh Filmon. Giguere has also had the opportunity to coach current Penguin Sam Poulin, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard of the Montréal Canadiens, and Edmonton Oilers prospect Olivier Rodrigue. Hockey Québec is another organization that Mitch has been heavily involved with, and that led to him working with Stanley Cup Champion Samuel Girard and Los Angeles Kings forward Pierre-Luc Dubois.

"I love the history that Wheeling has, and the chemistry that the Nailers have with Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton makes the organization feel like a big family," Giguere said. "Derek and I connected immediately, and I am excited to come here to learn a lot from him, while we help ourselves grow as individuals, while leading a talented team on the ice to a long playoff run. The organization also has strong family values, which is wonderful, as my wife and children will be a big part of this experience with me."

Mitch and his wife Audrey are moving to Wheeling with their four children - daughters Maxim (15), Alexe (13), and Leoni (7), and son Louis (5).

Mitch Giguere and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign David Drake
Wheeling's +/- Leader Becomes First Veteran Signing This Summer

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 15th player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed defenseman David Drake to an ECHL contract.

Drake, 28, is set to return for his third season with the Nailers, and is the team's first player signing this summer with veteran status (at least 260 pro games). David is coming off of a career year, as he set personal bests in all offensive categories with four goals, 15 assists, and 19 points. He was also tied for Wheeling's team lead with a +12 rating, and was one of three players who appeared in all 72 contests. The blueliner was first acquired by the Nailers in a trade with the Reading Royals during the 2021-22 campaign. In addition to his four full seasons in the ECHL, Drake has also seen AHL action in his career with Lehigh Valley, Providence, and Rochester, giving him 262 career games played and 53 points.

"David is a player who we counted on in a lot of key situations over the last two seasons," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He is our most experienced player, and we will lean on him for leadership this season. He led our team defensively last season, because he is tough to play against with his long reach and good stick. Offensively, he is coming off of his best season. We are excited to have number five back in our lineup."

Prior to turning pro, the Naperville, Illinois native played four seasons of college hockey at the University of Connecticut, where he majored in Communications. David's strong defensive game shined in the NCAA, as he averaged over one blocked shot per game during each of his four years with the Huskies and finished with 177. He also recorded 25 points during his time at UConn. Drake first put himself on the professional radar in 2013, when he was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL Entry Draft.

David Drake and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Félix Paré
Versatile Center Returns for Third Season With Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 14th player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Félix Paré to an ECHL contract.

Paré, 23, is entering his third season with the Nailers, and although injuries limited him to 40 games played in 2022-23, he was still able to achieve career highs with 12 assists and 15 points. Félix's contributions to the team go well beyond the scoresheet, as he has proven a willingness to drop the gloves, and has been one of the team's best when it comes to winning face-offs. Over the course of his two years with Wheeling, he has totaled ten goals, 19 assists, 29 points, and 121 penalty minutes in 94 games. Two of Paré's best performances this past season came exactly one week apart in February, as he netted a pair of goals at home against Norfolk, then dished out three assists in Iowa. During that stretch, he also mixed in one of his most decisive victories in a fight.

"Félix plays hard and brings a physical element to our team," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He is a top center in the face-off circle, and that is a huge part of us starting with puck possession. There's a noticeable difference when he is in the lineup and in the locker room."

Prior to turning pro, the Lévis, Québec native played five seasons of junior hockey in the QMJHL for the Victoriaville Tigres and Cape Breton Eagles. Félix enjoyed his best individual season with the Tigres in 2019-20, when he posted 15 goals, 16 assists, and 31 points. From a team standpoint, Victoriaville reached the QMJHL semi-final in 2018, then defeated Val-d'Or in overtime of game seven in 2019, giving Paré the first of his two career game seven overtime victories.

Early in the 2022-23 season, Félix was teammates with his older brother Cédric for the first time since their QMAAA days in 2015-16.

Félix Paré and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Shaw Boomhower
Physical Forward Looks for Second Playoff Run in Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their 13th player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Shaw Boomhower to an ECHL contract.

Boomhower, 24, will play for the Nailers for the second time in his career, as he was a member of the 2021-22 team that helped Wheeling win its first playoff series since 2016. Shaw brought lots of physicality to the lineup that season, as he led the team with 127 penalty minutes in 31 games. He also contributed to the offense with five goals, eight assists, and 13 points, which included a career-best four-point game in a 6-2 triumph over Kalamazoo on January 21st. This will be the forward's fifth season as a pro, as he spent two years in Cincinnati and also saw AHL action with the Rochester Americans. Last season, Boomhower was limited to four games with Kalamazoo due to injury. The Nailers acquired Shaw's rights from the Kansas City Mavericks prior to the ECHL Trade Deadline.

"We are excited to have Shaw back, as he saw firsthand what it took to win two seasons ago," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "Last season, we missed his physical element. When Shaw is on, there aren't many players like him in this league, and we saw how great he was at complementing our top offensive players."

Prior to turning pro, the Belleville, Ontario native played two seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League for the Mississauga Steelheads and Ottawa 67's. Boomhower reached the postseason in both campaigns, which included a run to the J. Ross Robertson Cup Final in his rookie year of 2016-17 with Mississauga. Shaw notched a goal and an assist in that championship series against Erie. Overall, Boomhower amassed 16 goals, 17 assists, 33 points, and 159 penalty minutes in 99 OHL contests.

Shaw Boomhower and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Acquire Defenseman Quinn Wichers from Rapid City
6-foot-4 Blueliner Split Two Seasons Between AHL & ECHL

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a trade, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has acquired defenseman Quinn Wichers from the Rapid City Rush in exchange for forward Keltie Jeri-Leon.

Wichers, 25, is a 6-foot-4, 216-pound blueliner, who brings two seasons of pro experience to Wheeling. Quinn has suited up in 93 games with the Rapid City Rush, in addition to 26 AHL contests with the Tucson Roadrunners and San Diego Gulls. While he has primarily played a defensive role, the Metcalfe, Ontario native contributed 20 points for the Rush, while also playing a very disciplined game with only 39 penalty minutes. During the 2021-22 season, Wichers got the chance to experience the Kelly Cup Playoffs, and he dished out an assist in Rapid City's series clinching victory over Allen. Prior to turning pro, Quinn played four years of college hockey at Mercyhurst College, where recorded 186 blocked shots. Wichers was the team captain for the Lakers during his junior season, and won the Bill Smith Award as a senior for embodying Mercyhurst hockey on the ice, in the classroom, and in the community.

Jeri-Leon, 23, was originally acquired by the Nailers from the Maine Mariners in the middle of March. Keltie played in 11 games for Wheeling during the final month of the season, and netted four goals. All four of his markers came in a pair of victories over the Iowa Heartlanders on April 7th and April 12th. Keltie has appeared in 106 ECHL contests and six AHL games, and has amassed 32 goals, 27 assists, and 59 points. Prior to turning pro, the Kelowna, British Columbia native played five seasons of junior hockey in the WHL with Tri-City, Kamloops, Lethbridge, and Seattle.

The Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Jarrett Lee
Forward Started Pro Career with Eight Points in 13 Games

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 12th player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Jarrett Lee to an ECHL contract.

Lee, 24, enjoyed quick success with the Nailers, as he began his professional career late last season, after finishing his five-year college hockey journey. Jarrett contributed to the offense immediately, as he dished out three assists in his Wheeling debut on March 15th - an 8-4 win at Norfolk. The first two of those assists came during the opening period. The forward found the scoresheet in four of his first six career contests, which included his first goal on March 26th against Reading. During the final week of the season, Lee snapped a 2-2 tie with 4:38 remaining in Iowa, which helped lift the Nailers over the Heartlanders, 5-2. Those two goals combined with six assists for eight points in 13 games.

"Jarrett came out of college and turned heads with his abilities," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He is gifted, smart, and do a lot of things offensively. We are looking forward to watching him continue to thrive in his first full pro season."

Prior to turning pro, the Hibbing, Minnesota native attended Northern Michigan University, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and the University of St. Thomas, and was a Marketing Communications major. Jarrett's most productive NCAA campaign came in 2022-23 with St. Thomas, when he collected 11 points in 34 games. Lee also got to enjoy some team success with Minnesota-Duluth, as the Bulldogs won the 2021-22 NCHC Championship and reached the 2020-21 NCAA Frozen Four in Pittsburgh. Jarrett also spent part of one season with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers, and averaged over one point per game, as he finished with 26 points in 19 matches. Lee was teammates with current Nailers Louie Roehl and Tanner Laderoute at Minnesota-Duluth.

Jarrett Lee and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Tanner Laderoute
NCAA National Champion Looks to Build on Early Pro Success

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 11th player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Tanner Laderoute to an ECHL contract.

Laderoute, 26, got his professional career started late in the 2022-23 season, after completing his five-year collegiate career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Tanner made his debut on March 24th, and went on to suit up in 11 games with the Nailers. He was a frequent contributor to the offense, as he registered one goal, six assists, and seven points, and took at least one shot on goal in ten of 11 contests. Laderoute notched his first career point with an assist in his second game on March 25th against Reading, then turned on the red light for the first time the following week at Cincinnati on April 2nd. Tanner also posted a multi-point night on April 7th against Iowa.

"Tanner won a National Championship and was a captain at Minnesota-Duluth," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He has a winning pedigree, which is something we value, as we work to build a championship team. He played very well in lots of situations for us last season."

The Edmonton, Alberta native had an extremely decorated college career. On the team side, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs won an NCAA National Championship in 2019, reached the Frozen Four twice, and won the NCHC Tournament twice. From an individual standpoint, Laderoute served as team captain for two years, won the E.L. "Duce" Rasmussen Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, the Goldie Wolfe Most Inspirational Player Award, was an NSCA All-American as Strength & Conditioning Athlete of the Year, and earned NCHC Defensive Forward of the Year. Tanner's success in the classroom also led to him being a five-time AHCA All-American Scholar, a five-time NCHC Distinguished Scholar Athlete, NCHC Academic All-Conference Honors during all five years, and the 2023 Circle of Excellence in MBA.

Statistically speaking, Laderoute contributed 30 goals, 28 assists, and 58 points in 172 games at UMD. He set a career high with ten goals in 2021-22, while his best point total was 16 during the 2019-20 season, when he also finished with a +15 rating. Additionally, Tanner played four years of junior hockey, and was the leading scorer for the AJHL's Okotoks Oilers as a 20-year old in 2017-18.

Tanner Laderoute and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Cédric Desruisseaux
Wheeling's Leading Scorer Returns After 30-Goal Season

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their tenth player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Cédric Desruisseaux to an ECHL contract.

Desruisseaux, 23, is coming off of a magnificent season, as he was Wheeling's leading scorer in 2022-23 with 30 goals, 29 assists, and 59 points, and was one of three players who played in all 72 games. Cédric's production began to take off in early December, when he made his way onto the scoresheet in six straight games, which included his first multi-goal game of the campaign in a 5-0 win at Kalamazoo. The forward lit the lamp in five of those games, while racking up 30 shots on goal. Another big stretch for Desruisseaux came in February, when he posted points in five straight matches, which included four-point performances in victories over Iowa and Norfolk. In addition to being the team's scoring leader, Cédric also paced the squad with 15 multi-point games, 211 shots on goal, 14 power play points, and was the ECHL's leader with nine opening markers.

"Cédric is a player who saw his game take off in a big way for us last year," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "We counted on him offensively, and he responded and carried the mail. He is still young with lots of potential, and I am excited to see him continue to excel in his third season."

The native of Warwick, Québec first joined the Nailers late in the 2021-22 season, after starting that year in Montréal's organization with the AHL's Laval Rocket and ECHL's Trois-Rivieres Lions. As a rookie, Desruisseaux amassed ten goals, 22 assists, and 32 points in 53 games between the two levels. Prior to turning pro, Cédric played five seasons of junior hockey in the QMJHL with the Victoriaville Tigres, Drummondville Voltigeurs, and Charlottetown Islanders. His best season came in 2020-21, when he won the Michel Brière Trophy as the QMJHL's Most Valuable Player and the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the QMJHL's leading scorer, as he exploded for 42 goals, 36 assists, and 78 points in 40 contests. Desruisseaux's teams reached the semi-final round of the QMJHL Playoffs twice.

Cédric Desruisseaux and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Bobby Hampton
Fan & Locker Room Favorite Returns for Third Season in Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their ninth player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Bobby Hampton to an ECHL contract.

Hampton, 25, is the first returning player who has played two full seasons in Wheeling, and is one of two current signings with ECHL playoff experience. Bobby has been a consistent producer in his two years as a Nailer, as he compiled 17 points in 50 games as a rookie, then added 15 points in 43 games in his second campaign. Hampton is a very popular player in the locker room, and that showed this past season, as the team went 10-0-2 when he picked up at least one point in a game. The forward's biggest game of 2022-23 came at Iowa on February 19th, when he dished out an assist in the second period, then netted his second career game winning goal to give the Nailers a 5-4 victory with less than one minute remaining in overtime.

"Bobby is an incredible team guy, who can play in any situation and in any position," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He cares deeply about the Nailers in the community, and we expect him to be a great leader for our young players."

Prior to turning pro, the Middletown, New Jersey native played three seasons of college hockey, as he attended Northeastern University for two years, then transferred to Penn State in 2019, where he majored in Communications. Bobby accumulated seven goals, three assists, and ten points in the NCAA, and helped Northeastern to a Hockey East Championship in 2018-19. The Huskies reached the NCAA National Tournament in both of Hampton's years on campus.

Bobby Hampton and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL

Nailers Sign Avery Winslow
20-Year Old Blueliner Turns Pro After Back-to-Back Deep OHL Playoff Runs

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their eighth player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has signed defenseman Avery Winslow to an ECHL contract.

Winslow, 20, is set to make his professional debut, after finishing his junior career in the Ontario Hockey League. Avery played the majority of his three OHL seasons with the North Bay Battalion, in addition to some time with the London Knights. The blueliner's career took off in a big way in 2021, as he racked up five goals, 24 assists, 29 points, and a +28 rating in 107 games over his final two campaigns.

"Avery is a young and promising defenseman, who is coming out of the Ontario Hockey League," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He played a lot of big minutes for North Bay, and is a steady and solid two-way player."

The St. Pete Beach, Florida native enjoyed great team success during both of those years as well, as the Battalion won back-to-back Central Division titles, and reached the Western Conference Final twice in a row. Winslow collected 11 points in 32 contests during the two postseason runs. In 2021, Avery got the opportunity to attend Prospects Camp with his hometown team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Avery Winslow and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Matt Koopman
Five-Game Point Streak Highlighted Start of Rookie Forward's Career

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their seventh player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Matt Koopman to an ECHL contract.

Koopman, 25, joined the Nailers in March for his pro debut, following the completion of his collegiate career. Matt appeared in 14 games for Wheeling, which was the highest total among players who came out of college this past year. He notched one goal, six assists, and seven points, and fired at least one shot on goal in 13 of his 14 tilts. Koopman registered his first professional point with an assist on Jordan Frasca's tying goal in a 4-3 overtime win at Norfolk on March 17th, then lit the lamp for the first time in a 4-3 home victory over Fort Wayne on April 8th. That goal also gave Matt a five-game point streak.

"Matt is a player who came out of college and played very well for us," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He can really skate, gets in on the forecheck, and is a great penalty killer. He also contributed offensively, and did a nice job of making the adjustment to the pro game."

Prior to turning pro, the Marblehead, Massachusetts native played five seasons of college hockey, as he attended Providence College for four years, then transferred to UMass-Amherst. Koopman suited up in 148 career NCAA matches and produced 20 goals, 21 assists, and 41 points. His most productive season was his final year at Providence, when he finished with 12 points. Two years earlier, Matt tied for fourth on the Friars with a +11 rating. Koopman was teammates with current Nailers defenseman Davis Bunz during all four of his seasons at PC.

Matt Koopman and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Sebastian Dirven
Blueliner Notched Three Points in First Four Pro Games

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their sixth player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed defenseman Sebastian Dirven to an ECHL contract.

Dirven, 25, made his professional debut with the Nailers in April, after completing his collegiate playing career. Sebastian recorded one goal, two assists, three points, and ten shots on goal in his first four career contests. His first point came via an assist in a 6-2 win over Iowa on April 7th, which was followed by his first pro goal the following night in a 4-3 victory against Fort Wayne.

"Sebastian is big and mobile, which is a hard combination to find in a defenseman," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "In college, he showed that he can be a solid defensive player and a good penalty killer. He showed us that he can do even more at the pro level."

Prior to turning pro, the Bainsville, Ontario native attended Cornell University, where he was enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, while he played three seasons for the Big Red. Dirven suited up in 93 of the school's 95 games over the course of those three seasons, and amassed three goals, 12 assists, 15 points, and a +22 rating. Sebastian's defensive game shined brightly in his final year at Cornell, as he finished fifth on the team with 24 blocked shots. The 2022-23 Big Red also earned a spot in the NCAA National Tournament and upset fourth-ranked Denver in the opening round.

Sebastian Dirven and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign David Jankowski
Rookie Forward Started Pro Career with Six Points in Seven Games

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their fifth player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward David Jankowski to an ECHL contract.

Jankowski, 26, joined the Nailers at the end of the 2022-23 season, following the completion of his collegiate career. David contributed to the team's offensive success immediately, as he racked up points in five of his first seven career games, totaling three goals, three assists, and six points. The forward collected his first pro point with an assist on April 7th in a 6-2 home win over Iowa, then netted the game winning goal the following night in a 4-3 triumph over Fort Wayne. Four days later, Jankowski turned on the red light again, as Wheeling earned its final road victory of the campaign, 5-2 in Iowa.

"We got a small sample size of David at the end of last season, but he was very good in that sample," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He showed that he has an offensive touch, as well as versatility by playing both center and wing. He's a smart hockey player."

Prior to turning pro, the Dundas, Ontario native played five seasons of college hockey, as he attended St. Lawrence University for four years, then transferred to Michigan Tech for his final year. During his five seasons, David accumulated 24 goals, 38 assists, and 62 points in 138 games. His best two seasons were his final two years with the Saints, when he finished second and third respectively on his team in scoring. Jankowski won the Terry Slater Perseverance Award during his sophomore season at St. Lawrence, and was named MVP of the ECAC Tournament during his junior season, as the Saints captured the ECAC Championship.

David also has lots of hockey in his bloodlines. His older brother Mark has played in 322 NHL games over eight seasons, his uncle Ryan is the Associate Director of Amateur Scouting for the Arizona Coyotes, and his grandfather Lou played in 127 NHL games over four seasons.

David Jankowski and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Louie Roehl
Defenseman Finished Fourth Among Rookies with 24 Points

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their fourth player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed defenseman Louie Roehl to an ECHL contract.

Roehl, 25, had a strong first professional season, as his offensive game saw significant growth from college to the pros. Louie finished the year fourth among Nailers rookies with four goals, 20 assists, and 24 points in 60 games, and also posted a +4 rating. The defender enjoyed lots of good stretches throughout the campaign, as he posted a points streak of at least three games on four different occasions. Roehl's first career point and first career goal both came during one of those runs, as he dished out a third period assist in a 6-5 comeback win at Fort Wayne on December 2nd, then lit the lamp in a 4-3 home triumph over Toledo two days later. One of Louie's best stretches of the season came in the middle of March, when he recorded six points in six games to go along with a +7 rating.

"Louie is a leader, who gives you every ounce of what he has every game," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He showed us a lot last season as a rookie, and we will be counting on him for even more this year."

Prior to turning pro, the Eden Prairie, Minnesota native attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth for five years, where he majored in Communication. Louie got the opportunity to taste tons of success with the Bulldogs, as he was a member of two NCAA National Championship teams, as well as two NCHC Conference Champions. Roehl was an extremely reliable player in college, as he played in all of his school's games in four of his five seasons and 180 of 186 games overall.

Louie Roehl and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Matthew Quercia
2022 Game Seven Hero Eager to Return to the Lineup

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their third player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Matthew Quercia to an ECHL contract.

Quercia, 24, will begin his second pro season in the fall, as he joined the Nailers during the second half of the 2021-22 campaign, then missed the entire 2022-23 season due to an injury suffered during training camp. Matthew quickly made a name for himself in Wheeling, as his goal in overtime of game seven during the opening round of the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs gave the Nailers their first playoff series victory since 2016. The rookie forward snagged two goals, two assists, and four points in ten games during that postseason, which followed his regular season totals of three goals, four assists, and seven points in 19 contests. In addition to his scoring ability, Quercia also displayed a willingness to play physical, as he accumulated 45 penalty minutes, which included three fighting majors.

Prior to turning pro, the Andover, Massachusetts native played four seasons of college hockey. Matthew attended Boston University for three years, then transferred to Michigan Tech in 2021. Quercia enjoyed his best collegiate season as a sophomore with the Terriers, when he finished seventh on the team in scoring with 13 points in 29 games, and led all Hockey East forwards with 34 blocked shots. He also played two seasons of junior hockey for the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede.

"It is hard not to be excited to about having Matthew back with us, after what he showed in game seven and during training camp last fall," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He can play anywhere in our lineup, and it was unfortunate to see his season cut short last year - we definitely missed him."

Matthew Quercia and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Extend Qualifying Offers to Eight Players
Five Forwards, Three 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 2023. 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 2023-24 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until July 22, 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 22. After July 22, 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 8, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

The eight qualified players for the Wheeling Nailers are:
F Cédric Desruisseaux
F Cam Hausinger
F Keltie Jeri-Leon
D Chris McKay
F Cédric Paré
F Félix Paré
D Adam Smith
D Jordan Wishman

If a player has already signed a contract for 2023-24, that player does not need to be tendered a qualifying offer.

Nailers Re-Sign Davis Bunz
Blueliner Returns Following 23-Point Rookie Campaign

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their second player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed defenseman Davis Bunz to an ECHL contract.

Bunz, 24, enjoyed a successful rookie season in professional hockey, as he began as a traditional defensive defenseman, before seeing his offensive game grow significantly as the year progressed. Davis finished the campaign fourth on the team in scoring by defensemen, as he recorded three goals, 20 assists, and 23 points in 58 games. The blueliner experienced his best stretch in the middle of January, when he racked up eight points over a six-game span, which included a pair of game winning goals against Reading and Indy. Other milestone moments for Bunz included his first pro point on November 9th at Toledo and his first pro goal on December 10th at Kalamazoo.

"Davis really came into his own this past season," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He took over big minutes at key times during the year, and we are looking forward to bigger things out of him this season in both his leadership and his play."

Prior to turning pro, the Middleton, Wisconsin native played five years of college hockey at Providence College, where he majored in Management. Davis was an iron man in three of his five seasons with the Friars, as he appeared in 144 of the team's 179 games. Bunz also played a large role off of the ice at PC, as he was nominated for the Hockey Humanitarian Award in 2020, and was the school's Jane Thompson Award winner (Humanitarian) in 2021.

Davis Bunz and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Re-Sign Peter Laviolette III
Wheeling Community Award Winner Tallied 11 Points in Rookie Season

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their first player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Peter Laviolette III to an ECHL contract.

Laviolette, 25, played his first professional season with the Nailers in 2022-23, and the Wheeling, West Virginia native hit things off immediately with the fans. Peter won the Project BEST Community Award, as he led the team with 12 community appearances. On the ice, Laviolette contributed five goals, six assists, and 11 points, while playing a physical style, which led to him finishing second on the club with 96 penalty minutes in 38 games. The forward's first career goal was definitely one to remember. The Nailers trailed the Reading Royals 5-3 after two periods in the annual New Year's Eve Game. Peter's goal at the 3:31 mark of the third lifted the roof off of WesBanco Arena and kickstarted a 6-5 victory for the home squad. Laviolette notched a pair of multi-goal games in March, and finished the campaign with points in five of eight contests.

"Peter is exactly what we want a Nailer to be," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He plays hard, he loves this community, and he brings energy every day. We are excited to have him back!"

Prior to turning pro, Peter played five years of college hockey at Plymouth State University, where he majored in Sport Management/Business Administration. During his time with the Panthers, Laviolette accumulated 35 goals, 32 assists, and 67 points in 105 games. His best collegiate season came in 2021-22, when he finished third on the team in scoring with nearly one point per game (26 points in 27 games). Plymouth State won the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament three times and the regular season championship four times with Peter on the squad. Laviolette III is one of three Wheeling natives to ever play for the Nailers, and he is the son of former Nailers Head Coach and Wheeling Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Laviolette Jr., who was recently named head coach of the NHL's New York Rangers.

The Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL.

Nailers Announce Season-Ending Roster
Wheeling Lists 20 Players; Teams May Begin Signing Players for 2023-24

WHEELING, WV- WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their Season-Ending Roster for the Summer of 2023. 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 2022-23. From this list, teams are entitled to reserve rights to the maximum of eight players, by extending a qualifying offer to them by July 7th. 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 July 7th, 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 22nd.

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 22nd. After July 22nd, 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 8th, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

The Wheeling Nailers Season-Ending Roster consists of the following players:
D Philip Beaulieu
D Davis Bunz
F Cédric Desruisseaux
D Sebastian Dirven
D David Drake
F Andrew Fyten
F Bobby Hampton
F Cam Hausinger
F David Jankowski
F Keltie Jeri-Leon
F Matt Koopman
F Jarrett Lee
F Tanner Laderoute
D Chris McKay
F Cédric Paré
F Félix Paré
F Matthew Quercia
D Louie Roehl
D Adam Smith
D Jordan Wishman

Nailers Announce Details of Future Considerations Trades
Wheeling Receives the Rights to Four Players - Fyten, McKay, Beaulieu, Gulka

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 Andrew Fyten and defenseman Chris McKay from the Florida Everblades, which completes the trade that sent forward Sean Josling to Florida.

Fyten, 24, joined the Everblades after completing his final season at Mount Royal University, and promptly posted five goals, five assists, and ten points in his first 21 regular season games as a pro. Andrew also appeared in 12 of Florida's 22 playoff contests to help win the Kelly Cup. That was the Sundre, Alberta native's second career championship, as he also won a WHL Title with the 2017-18 Edmonton Oil Kings. Prior to turning pro, Fyten enjoyed his best season at Mount Royal, as he collected 17 points in 24 games for the Cougars. Andrew's older brother Austin was Wheeling's team captain during the 2020-21 season.

McKay, 27, has also won a pair of championships, as he won the Kelly Cup with Florida in 2021-22 and the SPHL's President's Cup with the Pensacola Ice Flyers in 2020-21. Chris played the 2022-23 campaign as a member of the Wichita Thunder, and finished third on the team in defensive scoring with four goals, 15 assists, and 19 points in 44 games. Prior to turning pro, the Edmonton, Alberta native attended R.I.T., where he played four seasons of college hockey for the Tigers.

The Nailers have acquired the rights to defenseman Philip Beaulieu from the Worcester Railers, which completes the trade that sent forward Max Johnson to Worcester. Beaulieu, 27, just completed his third pro season and first with the Railers, after spending his first two seasons with the Allen Americans. Philip has compiled 13 goals, 65 assists, and 78 points in 141 career ECHL games, and has also appeared in one AHL tilt with the Iowa Wild. 2021-22 was his best campaign, as he led Allen blueliners with 38 points. Prior to turning pro, the Duluth, Minnesota native attended Northern Michigan University, where he led the Wildcats in defensive scoring during three of his four seasons.

The Nailers have acquired the rights to forward Sean Gulka from the Maine Mariners, which completes the trade that sent forward Carter Johnson to Maine, and also saw forward Keltie Jeri-Leon come to Wheeling. Gulka, 23, played the majority of the 2022-23 season with the SPHL's Pensacola Ice Flyers, as he registered five goals, five assists, and ten points in 24 games. He also accumulated 34 penalty minutes, which included three fighting majors, in seven ECHL contests with the South Carolina Stingrays. Prior to turning pro, the Langley, British Columbia native played junior hockey for the WHL's Spokane Chiefs and Victoria Royals.

The Nailers have traded the rights to forward Ross Krieger to the Idaho Steelheads, which completes the trade that sent defenseman Jack Van Boekel to Wheeling. Krieger, 25, started his pro career with the Nailers, as he notched three goals, three assists, and six points in 12 games, including a goal in his pro debut on March 10th at Fort Wayne. The Pain Court, Ontario native joined Wheeling after completing his final season at the University of Toronto, where he amassed 46 points in 67 career games with the Varsity Blues.

The Nailers have traded the rights to defenseman Jack Van Boekel to the Savannah Ghost Pirates, which completes the trade that sent defenseman T.J. Fergus to Wheeling. Van Boekel, 27, finished third on the Nailers with 92 penalty minutes during the 2022-23 season, and he also contributed two goals and five points in 30 games. Jack will be entering his third pro season, as he has also played for the Cincinnati Cyclones and Idaho Steelheads.

The next key offseason date is June 22nd, when team submit their Season Ending Rosters. Teams may begin signing players on June 23rd for the 2023-24 season.

Nailers Announce 2023 Protected List
Wheeling's List Consists of 31 Players

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their 2023 Protected List.

Teams are allowed to protect as many players as they wish provided the players protected meet the guidelines as defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association which state that teams shall retain the rights to each player that:

1. Signed an SPC in 2022-23 with the Member, and has not been traded or released, OR
2. Signed an SPC in 2022-23, and was recalled to the NHL/AHL or IIHF team, and has not been traded or released, OR
3. Had received a Qualifying Offer last summer for the current Season, DID NOT sign an SPC, and has not been traded or released, OR
4. Has been suspended by the Member or League, and has not been traded or released, OR
5. Signed an SPC on or after the first day of the 2022-23 Regular Season, then subsequently signed an NHL/AHL contract, and has not been traded or released, OR
6. Has executed the ECHL Retirement Form, and has not been traded or released.

The Wheeling Nailers Protected List consists of the following 31 players:
F Justin Addamo
D Luke Bafia
G Brad Barone
F Shaw Boomhower
D Davis Bunz
F Cédric Desruisseaux
F Wyllum Deveaux
D Sebastian Dirven
D David Drake
F Tyler Drevitch
F Gianluca Esteves
D Brandon Fehd
F Trevor Gooch
F Bobby Hampton
F Cam Hausinger
F David Jankowski
F Keltie Jeri-Leon
F Matt Koopman
F Ross Krieger
F Peter Laviolette III
F Jarrett Lee
F Tanner Laderoute
F Cédric Paré
F Félix Paré
F Matthew Quercia
D Louie Roehl
D Adam Smith
F Samuel Tremblay
D Jack Van Boekel
F Patrick Watling
D Jordan Wishman

This is the first key date for ECHL teams in the 2023 offseason. The next two key dates are June 20th, when all future considerations trades must be completed, then June 22nd, when Season Ending Rosters are due.

Nailers Announce 2023-24 Schedule
Wheeling Opens 32nd Season at Cincinnati; Home Opener is November 4th vs. Reading

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their schedule for the 2023-24 season - the 32nd season of professional hockey in Wheeling.

The 2023-24 schedule is extremely family friendly, as 35 of the 36 home games will be played on weekends or holidays, with the lone outlier being the annual Education Day game. After starting the season with three straight road contests, Wheeling will play its home opener in November for the third time in six years, as Saturday, November 4th will be the first game in Nail City. While Central Division rivals account for over half of the games (47 of 72), there is significantly more variety on the slate, as the Nailers will face 12 teams. The most frequent opponents are Indy (11) and Cincinnati (10), while WesBanco Arena will open its doors for home series against Idaho, Norfolk, Orlando, and Tulsa. Wheeling will also travel to Orlando for a road series, in addition to the first visit to Utah in team history. Home 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.

Fans won't have to travel far to catch the season opener, as the Nailers will start off by visiting their closest geographical opponent, the Cincinnati Cyclones, on Saturday, October 21st. The second week of the campaign will take Wheeling to Kalamazoo and Fort Wayne, and the October 27th clash will be the team's lone game at Wings Event Center in the entire season.

While the teams currently play in opposite conferences, the Nailers and Reading Royals have enjoyed a memorable rivalry of over 200 games, and that is how the home docket will begin, as Wheeling will host Reading on Saturday, November 4th and Sunday, October 5th. That is part of a season-long five-game homestand, which will continue the following weekend, as the Brabham Cup Champion Idaho Steelheads will come to Nail City for the first time since 2017 for tilts on November 10th, 11th, and 12th. Other highlights in November include a morning game in Toledo on the 15th, the traditional Thanksgiving Eve game, which is also against the Walleye on the 22nd, and the lone visit of the season by the Iowa Heartlanders to close out Thanksgiving Weekend on the 25th and 26th.

December will also be packed full of home matches, as Wheeling will take the ice eight times in front of the best fans in all of hockey. That is tied with November and February for the most in a month in 2023-24. Four of the five weekends that month will feature multiple home games, starting with divisional match-ups against Toledo and Kalamazoo on the 1st and 3rd. The Nailers will then get to dip their toes into Mountain Division waters again, as the Tulsa Oilers will play in Downtown Wheeling for the fourth and fifth times ever on the 9th and 10th. Indy and Cincinnati will be the last two home opponents before the holidays on the 15th and 16th, while 2023 will conclude with a two-game series against the Norfolk Admirals on December 30th and 31st. This will be the third New Year's Eve clash with the Admirals in the last five years.

Sunshine will greet the Nailers as the calendar flips to 2024, as the squad will head to Orlando for a three-game series against the Solar Bears on January 5th, 6th, and 7th. The second week of January will be a significant one, as it is the only time Wheeling will be at home all month. Indy will be in for the 12th and 13th, before Kalamazoo wraps up the weekend on the 14th. The rest of January will feature series in Iowa and Reading, as well as a solo trip to Cincinnati.

February starts in similar fashion to the way January did, but this time, it will be in the Friendly City, as the Nailers and Solar Bears have three more tilts on tap for February 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Wheeling will then make a quick stop in Reading to try to teach the Royals a thing or two in a morning game, before the two clubs meet again at WesBanco Arena on February 9th and 10th. After that, it's off to a brand new place, as the Nailers will lace up their skates in a 30th state, when they battle the Utah Grizzlies in West Valley City on February 16th, 17th, and 19th. A pair of familiar faces will welcome Wheeling back to the Eastern Time Zone, as one game against the Komets and two with the Wings closes out the home portion of February.

The majority of early March will be spent on enemy ice, as the lone home contest in a nine-game stretch is a Sunday afternoon collision with the Cyclones on March 3rd. However, the stretch run could play a major role in helping the Nailers make their final postseason push, as eight of the last 11 games will take place at WesBanco Arena, and all eight are against Central Division foes. Indy will be the opposition for Education Day on March 19th, and Wheeling will do a lot of studying that week, as three more teams appear on the slate for that weekend - Kalamazoo on the 22nd, Fort Wayne on the 23rd, and Cincinnati on the 24th. One final swing on the road will take the Nailers through Toledo, Cincinnati, and Indy, before the team gears up for one last four-game homestand. Wheeling will host Fort Wayne on April 5th, Indy on April 7th, and Toledo on April 12th, before the 2023-24 regular season ends in the reverse order in which it began, as the Nailers will challenge the Cyclones at WesBanco Arena on April 13th.

2023-24 Opponent Breakdown
11 vs. Indy - 5 home, 6 away
10 vs. Cincinnati - 4 home, 6 away
9 vs. Reading - 4 home, 5 away
8 vs. Fort Wayne - 3 home, 5 away
7 vs. Iowa - 2 home, 5 away
6 vs. Kalamazoo - 5 home, 1 away
6 vs. Orlando - 3 home, 3 away
5 vs. Toledo - 3 home, 2 away
3 vs. Idaho - 3 home
3 vs. Utah - 3 away
2 vs. Norfolk - 2 home
2 vs. Tulsa - 2 home

2023-24 Schedule
Sat. Oct. 21 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Fri. Oct. 27 at Kalamazoo, 7:00
Sat. Oct. 28 at Fort Wayne, 7:30
Sat. Nov. 4 vs. Reading, 7:10
Sun. Nov. 5 vs. Reading, 4:10
Fri. Nov. 10 vs. Idaho, 7:10
Sat. Nov. 11 vs. Idaho, 7:10
Sun. Nov. 12 vs. Idaho, 4:10
Wed. Nov. 15 at Toledo, 10:35 a.m.
Fri. Nov. 17 at Indy, 7:00
Sun. Nov. 19 at Fort Wayne, 5:00
Wed. Nov. 22 vs. Toledo, 7:10
Fri. Nov. 24 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Sat. Nov. 25 vs. Iowa, 7:10
Sun. Nov. 26 vs. Iowa, 4:10
Wed. Nov. 29 at Indy, 7:00
Fri. Dec. 1 vs. Toledo, 7:10
Sat. Dec. 2 at Indy, 7:00
Sun. Dec. 3 vs. Kalamazoo, 4:10
Fri. Dec. 8 at Indy, 7:00
Sat. Dec. 9 vs. Tulsa, 7:10
Sun. Dec. 10 vs. Tulsa, 4:10
Fri. Dec. 15 vs. Indy, 7:10
Sat. Dec. 16 vs. Cincinnati, 7:10
Fri. Dec. 22 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Wed. Dec. 27 at Indy, 7:00
Sat. Dec. 30 vs. Norfolk, 7:10
Sun. Dec. 31 vs. Norfolk, 6:10
Fri. Jan. 5 at Orlando, 7:00
Sat. Jan. 6 at Orlando, 7:00
Sun. Jan. 7 at Orlando, 3:00
Fri. Jan. 12 vs. Indy, 7:10
Sat. Jan. 13 vs. Indy, 7:10
Sun. Jan. 14 vs. Kalamazoo, 4:10
Fri. Jan. 19 at Iowa, 8:05
Sat. Jan. 20 at Iowa, 8:05
Wed. Jan. 24 at Reading, 7:00
Fri. Jan. 26 at Reading, 7:00
Sat. Jan. 27 at Reading, 7:00
Wed. Jan. 31 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Fri. Feb. 2 vs. Orlando, 7:10
Sat. Feb. 3 vs. Orlando, 7:10
Sun. Feb. 4 vs. Orlando, 4:10
Tue. Feb. 6 at Reading, 10:30 a.m.
Fri. Feb. 9 vs. Reading, 7:10
Sat. Feb. 10 vs. Reading, 7:10
Fri. Feb. 16 at Utah, 9:10
Sat. Feb. 17 at Utah, 9:10
Mon. Feb. 19 at Utah, 5:10
Fri. Feb. 23 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Sat. Feb. 24 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:10
Sun. Feb. 25 vs. Kalamazoo, 4:10
Wed. Feb. 28 at Reading, 7:00
Fri. Mar. 1 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Sat. Mar. 2 at Fort Wayne, 7:30
Sun. Mar. 3 vs. Cincinnati, 4:10
Fri. Mar. 8 at Fort Wayne, 8:00
Sat. Mar. 9 at Fort Wayne, 7:30
Wed. Mar. 13 at Iowa, 8:05
Fri. Mar. 15 at Iowa, 8:05
Sat. Mar. 16 at Iowa, 8:05
Tue. Mar. 19 vs. Indy, 10:45 a.m.
Fri. Mar. 22 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:10
Sat. Mar. 23 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Sun. Mar. 24 vs. Cincinnati, 4:10
Fri. Mar. 29 at Toledo, 7:15
Sat. Mar. 30 at Cincinnati, 7:35
Wed. Apr. 3 at Indy, 7:00
Fri. Apr. 5 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10
Sun. Apr. 7 vs. Indy, 4:10
Fri. Apr. 12 vs. Toledo, 7:10
Sat. Apr. 13 vs. Cincinnati 7:10

Head Coach Derek Army Signs Three-Year Extension
32-Year Old Ranks Sixth All-Time with 72 Wins
D Army.png

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that Head Coach Derek Army has signed a three-year contract extension. The deal will keep him as the team's head coach through the 2025-26 campaign.

Army, 32, recently completed his second full season as the team's head coach and third overall, as he joined the coaching staff as an assistant in 2020-21, before being promoted to interim head coach in the middle of that season. Derek has already climbed the ranks to sixth on Wheeling's all-time list with 72 regular season wins, and he is one of eight coaches in team history to win a playoff series. In addition to building a winning team for the Nailers, Army has also achieved great success in developing players for the AHL, as 33 players from the last two seasons have earned promotions to the next level, including 18 who started in Wheeling on ECHL contracts.

"Derek Army has done a terrific job for our organization, and we are looking forward to watching him succeed even more in these next three seasons," said Nailers Team President Brian Komorowski. "With Derek behind the bench, we were able to get a taste of our first playoff success since 2016, which is something that we are eager to see more of in the near future. Derek also understands the importance of family and community, which make him an incredible ambassador for our team."

The North Kingstown, Rhode Island native first arrived in Nail City during the final weeks of the 2013-14 season, after he completed his collegiate playing career at Providence College. Derek then played in parts of each of the next four seasons with the Nailers, as he amassed 59 goals, 71 assists, and 130 points in 159 games. His 59 goals rank tenth all-time, and he is one of five players in team history to play in parts of at least five seasons. Similar to his players, Army also reached the AHL, as he appeared in 97 games with six different teams. Derek's best individual season came in 2014-15, when he led Wheeling with 29 goals and played in all 72 games. His best season with a team was in 2015-16, when the Nailers reached the Kelly Cup Final.

"My family and I couldn't be more excited to be back in Wheeling," Army said. "We absolutely love everything about being here, from the support of our fans, this great community, our close-knit team on the ice, and first class organizations with the Nailers and Penguins. I have loved my time here both as a player and as a coach, and I can't wait to continue building something special."

2023-24 will be Army's ninth season in the organization, which is the most for any player or coach in team history. Derek and his wife Jenn have a two-year old son Boone and a six-month old daughter Adelina. The Army family has lived in Wheeling since 2021.

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