Nailers Acquire Cameron Heath, Sign Ryan Cloonan
October 24th, 2019: Heath Debuted Last Spring with South Carolina, Cloonan Signs First Pro Contract
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have made two roster moves, which both take effect immediately. The Nailers have acquired defenseman Cameron Heath from the Reading Royals in exchange for future considerations, and Wheeling has signed forward Ryan Cloonan.
Heath, 25, made his professional debut in the spring, as he collected two assists in ten regular season games and five playoff contests with the South Carolina Stingrays. That came after Cameron completed his college hockey career at Canisius College, where he majored in Health and Wellness, while playing for the Griffins. The Troy, Michigan native had strong offensive numbers at Canisius, tallying 25 goals, 53 assists, and 78 points in 150 games. He lit the lamp seven times in three consecutive seasons, while reaching his career high with 23 points during his senior campaign.
Cloonan, 24, is set to make his pro debut, following four years of college hockey at Boston University. Ryan registered six goals, 23 assists, and 29 points in 122 games with the Terriers on the ice, while majoring in Communications in the classroom. Prior to college, the East Longmeadow, Massachusetts native played for the Boston Jr. Bruins, and had tremendous offensive success, as he finished second on the team in scoring with 65 points in 50 matches during the 2014-15 season.
Penguins Recall Hawkins & Erkamps
October 22nd, 2019
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced two transactions, which both take effect immediately. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have recalled forward Brandon Hawkins and defenseman Macoy Erkamps.
Hawkins, 25, had a dynamic preseason for the Nailers, then carried that success into the regular season, tallying two goals, two assists, and four points, while helping the team even its record at 2-2-0. Brandon notched three points in Friday's defeat at Fort Wayne, then scored the tying goal on Sunday against Indy, setting the stage for Yushiroh Hirano's last minute heroics. The Macomb, Michigan native appeared in five games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the end of last season, scoring a pair of goals.
Erkamps, 24, played in his first three games as a Nailer over the weekend, recording his first assist with the club on Alec Butcher's opening goal Saturday night. Macoy is currently playing in his second season in the Penguins organization, after Pittsburgh acquired him from the Ottawa Senators last December. The Delta, British Columbia native posted four points in 24 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last year.
Nailers Announce 2019 Protected List
Wheeling's List Consists of 19 Players
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their 2019 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 2018-19 with the Member, and has not been traded or released, OR
2. Signed an SPC in 2018-19, 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 2018-19 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 19 players:
F Alec Butcher
F Winston Day Chief
F Brad Drobot
F Mike Fazio
D Dan Fick
D Robbie Hall
F Yushiroh Hirano
F Lucas Kohls
F Cedric Lacroix
F Zac Lynch
G Matt O'Connor
F Mark Petaccio
F Michael Phillips
G Jordan Ruby
F Nick Saracino
D Jake Schultz
D Kevin Schulze
D Craig Skuldalski
D Aaron Titcomb
This is the first key date for ECHL teams in June. The next two key dates are June 13th, when all future considerations trades must be completed, then June 15th, when Season Ending Rosters are due.
PENGUINS CALL UP CÉDRIC LACROIX FROM WHEELING
April 1, 2019
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have recalled forward Cédric Lacroix from their ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.
Lacroix, a first-year pro, has 21 goals on the season with Wheeling, placing him in a tie for most on the team. Furthermore, his 40 points in 68 games put him tied for fourth on the Nailers. The 24-year old forward also leads the Nailers in penalty minutes (209). Lacroix had six points (2G-4A) in his last five games prior to his recall, including the first three-point outing of his career on Mar. 29 vs. Fort Wayne.
Lacroix attended Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s training camp in September and earned a one-year American Hockey League contract with the Penguins in January.
Hailing from Shefford, Québec, Lacroix spent four years playing at the University of Maine. In his senior season, Lacroix recorded a career-high six goals, and tied his career-best for points in a season with 11.
Nailers Sign Three Players
Kohls Signs Standard Contract, While Johansson & Macnee Receive Tryouts
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have signed three players. Forward Lucas Kohls has been signed to a standard contract, while defenseman Phil Johansson and Jack Macnee have been signed to amateur tryouts.
Kohls, 25, is coming off his best college hockey season, as he led the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with nine goals and 24 points in 28 games. Lucas saw his production increase during all four of his years with the Blugolds, as he completed his collegiate career with 18 goals, 42 assists, and 60 points in 99 games. Prior to going to school, the Forest Lake, Minnesota native played two seasons of junior hockey in the NAHL, where he was teammates with current Nailers Alec Butcher and Mike Fazio.
Johansson, 24, just completed his collegiate hockey career as well, finishing second in scoring for Amherst College with six goals and 20 points in 26 games. Phil reached double digits in points during each of his four seasons with the Mammoths, finishing with 20 goals, 36 assists, and 56 points in 93 games. The Montreal, Quebec native played two seasons of junior hockey with the BCHL's Surrey Eagles and CCHL's Hawkesbury Hawks.
Macnee, 22, had a strong offensive season, as he finished his four-year collegiate career at Hobart College by finishing second among defensemen with 17 points in 29 games. Jack played in at least 20 games during each of his seasons with the Statesmen, accumulating four goals, 31 assists, and 35 points in 104 contests. Prior to college, the Ridgwood, New Jersey native attended Avon Old Farms School, which produced current NHL goaltender Jonathan Quick and Hockey Hall of Fame member Brian Leetch.
Treavor Yates Returned To Wheeling
Renars Krastebbergs Earns Fist Call Up, as Nailers and Penguins Swap Players
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced two roster moves, which both take effect immediately. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have recalled forward Renars Krastenbergs and have assigned forward Trevor Yates to the Nailers.
Krastenbergs, 20, earns the first recall of his rookie season, as he ranks third on the Nailers with 41 points in 57 games. Renars made his professional debut on opening night, dishing out two assists against the Norfolk Admirals. The Jelgava, Latvia native achieved another career milestone less than one month later, when he tallied his first career goal in a 5-1 win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Krastenbergs' best run of the year saw him accumulate at least one point in 11 of 13 games, starting with a two-goal performance against the Fort Wayne Komets, which included the game winning goal. Renars signed with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton prior to the season, after playing two years of junior hockey with the OHL's Oshawa Generals.
Yates, 24, appeared in four games during his recent recall to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Penguins acquired Trevor in an AHL trade with the Grand Rapids Griffins, then assigned him to Wheeling, where he excelled with 14 points in 14 games. The Beaconsfield, Quebec native recorded a Gordie Howe Hat Trick on March 3rd, then scored three goals for a standard hat trick on March 6th - both against Fort Wayne. Yates has totaled 21 points in 47 games between the AHL and ECHL during his rookie season. Prior to turning pro, Trevor played four years of college hockey at Cornell University.
Nailers Sign Nicolas Erb-Ekholm
University of Alaska-Anchorage's Leading Scorer Joins Wheeling
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has signed forward Nicolas Erb-Ekholm to an amateur tryout.
Erb-Ekholm, 23, just completed his four-year collegiate career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, where he majored in Business. Despite a difficult season on the ice for the team, Nicolas had a strong individual year, as he led the Seawolves with 13 points in 33 games. The Malmo, Sweden native finished tied for second on the team in scoring as a junior, and finished his career in Anchorage with 19 goals, 20 assists, and 39 points in 103 games. Erb-Ekholm is the second player that the Nailers have signed to an ATO this season, following Conor O'Neil, who made his pro debut on March 12th.
Yates Recalled, Nailers Sign Conor O'Neil
O'Neil Joins Wheeling After Finishing College Career at Vermont
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced two transactions, which both take effect immediately. Forward Trevor Yates has been recalled by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and the Nailers have signed forward Conor O'Neil to an amateur tryout.
Yates, 24, was originally acquired by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a trade with the Grand Rapids Griffins in early February. He immediately reported to the Nailers and experienced outstanding success. Trevor racked up six goals, eight assists, and 14 points in 14 games with Wheeling, and earns his promotion in the midst of a four-game point streak. Two notable games during that run came consecutively, as the Beaconsfield, Quebec native netted the game winning goal as part of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick on March 3rd, before tallying a traditional hat trick with three goals on March 6th. Both were career firsts for the rookie.
O'Neil, 24, is the second player signed out of college by the Nailers this season, following Alec Butcher, who joined the team in January. Conor just completed his four-year collegiate career at the University of Vermont, where he appeared in 99 games, recording 12 goals, 15 assists, and 27 points. His final goal with the Catamounts was a game winner, as Vermont was victorious at Providence College, 3-1 on February 1st. The Hummelstown, Pennsylvania made junior hockey stops in the NAHL and the USPHL's Premier Division, before majoring in Business in Burlington.
Hartford Returns Lynch to Nailers
Wheeling's Leading Scorer Returns Prior to Road Tilts Against Fort Wayne & Kalamazoo
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. The Hartford Wolf Pack have released forward Zac Lynch from his PTO, as he returns to the Nailers.
Lynch, 26, appeared in six games with the Wolf Pack, bringing his career total to 42 AHL contests. Zac returns to Wheeling, where he is the team's leading scorer, having racked up 15 goals, 37 assists, and 52 points in 53 games. This has been the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native's most productive season as a pro, as he has eclipsed the 50-point mark for the first time in his career. Prior to his AHL stint, Lynch recorded at least one point in five of seven games, including multi-point efforts in wins over Brampton and Fort Wayne.
Penguins Assign Siebenaler to Wheeling
Former Columbus Draft Pick Joins Nailers Blueline
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Pittsburgh has assigned defenseman Blake Siebenaler to Wheeling from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Siebenaler, 23, joined the Penguins organization on February 11th, when he was acquired by Pittsburgh in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has since appeared in one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, posting a +2 rating. This is Blake's third professional season, and prior to the trade, he had spent his entire career with Columbus' AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters. While in Cleveland, he accumulated seven goals, seven assists, and 14 points in 83 games. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native was originally selected by the Blue Jackets in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Siebenaler played his junior hockey with the OHL's Niagara IceDogs, reaching the league's championship round in 2016.
Cam Brown & Jeff Taylor Rejoin Penguins
Duo Combined for Four Points During Recent Stints in Wheeling
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced two transactions, which both take effect immediately. Forward Cam Brown and defenseman Jeff Taylor have both rejoined the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Brown was recalled by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Taylor was reassigned by Pittsburgh.
Brown, 25, appeared in five games during his latest stint with the Nailers, helping the team to a 3-2-0 record, with wins over Reading, Brampton, and Fort Wayne. Cam made an immediate impact in his first game back, tallying one goal and two assists, as Wheeling defeated the Royals, 5-2. He then netted the tying goal in the second round of a shootout in Fort Wayne, setting the stage for teammate Alec Butcher's game winner. The Natick, Massachusetts native has produced 37 points in 35 games with the Nailers this season, in addition to four points in 11 AHL contests with the Penguins.
Taylor, 24, played in just one game for Wheeling, following his assignment from the Penguins. Jeff dished out one assist, while taking two shots on goal in a 4-1 defeat against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Thursday. Prior to the original transaction, the Clifton Park, New York native amassed five points in 28 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Nailers Trade Brien Diffley to Manchester
Rookie Defenseman Tallied Six Points in 33 Games for Wheeling
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. The Nailers have traded defenseman Brien Diffley to the Manchester Monarchs, which completes the deal that also involved Zac Lynch and Alex Rauter.
Diffley, 23, made his professional debut with the Nailers on October 27th in Reading, after completing his four-year collegiate career at Boston University. Brien recorded his first professional point with an assist in a 6-2 win over Indy on November 30th, then scored his first career goal in a 7-6 shootout triumph at Norfolk on December 19th. December was the rookie blueliner's most productive month, as his goal against the Admirals capped off a four-game point streak. Diffley amassed one goal, five assists, and six points in 33 games with Wheeling, while ranking tied for third on the team with a +8 rating.
Nailers Make Three Transactions
Wheeling Receives Taylor from Penguins, Loans Lynch to Hartford, Trades Rauter to Manchester
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced three transactions, which all take effect immediately. Wheeling has received defenseman Jeff Taylor from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, loaned forward Zac Lynch to the Hartford Wolf Pack, and traded forward Alex Rauter to the Manchester Monarchs.
Taylor, 24, will be suiting up with the Nailers for the second straight season, after recording four goals, 15 assists, and 19 points in 28 games last year. Jeff was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and proceeded to join the organization following his four-year collegiate career at Union College, which included an NCAA National Championship. The Clifton Park, New York native has appeared in 50 career AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, tallying two goals, four assists, and six points. Taylor scored his first AHL goal on December 8th in a 3-1 home win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Lynch, 26, gets his first AHL opportunity of the season and the fourth of his professional career, after playing with the Portland Pirates, Springfield Thunderbirds, and Utica Comets during previous years. Zac is currently in the midst of his most productive professional season, as his 37 assists, 52 points, and 28 special teams points are all tops on the Nailers. On November 30th, the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania native notched his 50th career goal and his 100th career point, helping Wheeling to a 6-2 home win against Indy. Lynch dished out four assists on January 5th in Toledo, which was part of a stretch that saw him collect at least one point in 12 of 13 games.
Rauter, 24, goes to Manchester as part of the future considerations trade that originally brought Lynch to Wheeling during the summer. Alex debuted with the Atlanta Gladiators last season, accumulating three points in three games, before signing with the Nailers at the start of the 2018-19 campaign. The Chatham, New Jersey native appeared in 44 games with Wheeling, racking up ten goals, 24 assists, and 34 points. Two of Rauter's top games as a Nailer came within two weeks of each other, as he set a career high with four points at Kalamazoo on December 28th, then netted his first two-goal game on January 5th at Toledo.
Nailers Receive Brown & Spinozzi from Penguins
Wheeling Trades Josh Couturier to Maine, Troy Joesphs was released from his AHL contract to play in Norway
Feb 12th, 2019
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced three transactions, which all take effect immediately. Wheeling has received forward Cam Brown and defenseman Kevin Spinozzi from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, while trading defenseman Josh Couturier to the Maine Mariners in exchange for future considerations.
Brown, 25, appeared in 11 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, after being recalled from Wheeling in late December. Cam had a strong showing with the Penguins, tallying one goal, three assists, and four points, while posting a +4 rating. Prior to his recall, the Natick, Massachusetts native lit the ECHL on fire, racking up points in 12 straight games, while earning ECHL Player of the Month honors. Brown amassed seven goals, 19 assists, and 26 points during the streak, which resumes with his return to the lineup. On the season, Cam has accumulated eight goals, 26 assists, and 34 points, giving him career totals of 25 goals, 62 assists, and 87 points in 85 games with the Nailers.
Spinozzi, 22, suited up in five games with the Penguins following his recall, and was able to produce some opportunities, taking ten shots on goal. Kevin was also on a roll before advancing to the AHL, as he had recorded at least one point in seven straight games - a streak which also resumes with his return to the Wheeling lineup. The Granby, Quebec native still ranks tied for second in goals among ECHL defensemen, having lit the lamp 11 times, to go along with 17 assists for 28 points. Although he was in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the time, Spinozzi was Wheeling's selection for the ECHL All-Star Classic.
Couturier, 23, registered one goal, one assist, and two points in 32 games with the Nailers, as he began his professional career. Josh collected his first pro point with an assist on November 25th against Cincinnati, then netted his first career goal on December 27th at Indy. The Byfield, Massachusetts native played two seasons of college hockey at Boston College, then UMass-Amherst.
In a separate transaction, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins released forward Troy Josephs, who played in his final game with the Nailers on Sunday at Maine.
Nailers Receive Trevor Yates After AHL Trade
Rookie Forward Posted Seven Points in 27 Games with Toledo
Feb 8th, 2019
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. The Nailers have received forward Trevor Yates from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who acquired him in a trade with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Yates, 23, first broke into the pros at the end of last season, when he registered one assist in two games with Grand Rapids. Last summer, Trevor signed an AHL contract with the Griffins, and proceeded to appear in two games with them, while spending the majority of his rookie campaign with the Toledo Walleye. The Beaconsfield, Quebec native collected two goals, five assists, and seven points in 27 games with the Walleye, scoring both of his goals against Central Division opponents. Prior to turning pro, Yates attended Cornell University for four years, tallying 32 goals, 33 assists, and 65 points in 120 games. Trevor was teammates with current Nailer Alex Rauter at Cornell, in addition to former Nailers John McCarron and Christian Hilbrich.
This is the second transaction of the week for the Nailers that involves Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, as goaltender John Muse was reassigned to the Penguins prior to their game in Rockford on Wednesday night.
Nailers Sign Forward Alec Butcher
Anchorage, Alaska Native Set to Make Pro Debut After Finishing College with Hometown Seawolves
Jan 8th, 2019
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are pleased to announce a player signing, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has signed forward Alec Butcher to an ECHL contract.
Butcher, 24, will make his professional debut with the Nailers, after completing his NCAA career. Alec attended Sacred Heart University for three years, before transferring to the University of Alaska-Anchorage for the 2017-18 season, where he played for his hometown Seawolves - the same team his father Allen suited up with from 1979-82. While Alec's career high in points came during his second season at Sacred Heart, his time in Anchorage was his most productive in terms of scoring, as he set a career high with eight goals, while tallying 13 points in 16 games, giving him an average slightly under one point per contest. Prior to attending school, Butcher played two years of junior hockey in the NAHL, racking up 96 points in 101 games.
Kevin Spinozzi Named to 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic
Spinozzi Ranks Second in ECHL Defensive Scoring, Tied for First in Goals from the Blueline
Jan 7th, 2019
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that defenseman Kevin Spinozzi has been selected for the 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic.
Spinozzi, 22, earns his first selection to the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, following a dynamic start to the 2018-19 season. Kevin is tied for the league lead among defensemen with 11 goals, while his 28 points are second among ECHL blueliners. The Granby, Quebec native had his best month in December, when he racked up six goals, eight assists, and 14 points in 11 games, which included a seven-game point streak before he was recalled to the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In 38 games over the course of parts of two seasons with the Nailers, Spinozzi has amassed 13 goals, 20 assists, and 33 points.
Kevin will represent the Nailers on the Western Conference All-Star Team for the 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, which will be held at Toledo's Huntington Center on Monday, January 21st at 7 p.m. The game will air live exclusively on NHL Network. The Eastern Conference All-Stars, Western Conference All-Stars, and two teams from the host Toledo Walleye will battle in a 3-on-3 tournament, with rally scoring used to determine the winner.
PENGUINS RECALL CAM BROWN; MUSE, JOSEPHS REASSIGNED TO NAILERS
Dec 30th, 2018
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have recalled forward Cam Brown from their ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers. Furthermore, goaltender John Muse has been reassigned by the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to Wheeling, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has reassigned forward Troy Josephs to the Nailers, as well.
Brown currently leads all Nailers skaters with 26 assists this season, one year after finishing the season second on the team in helpers (36). The forward from Natick, Massachusetts also sits second on the Nailers’ points chart, having earned 34 points this season.
Brown, 25, appeared in one game for the Penguins last season, the regular season finale at Hershey on Apr. 15. He also appeared in 13 additional AHL contests on a professional tryout agreement with the Springfield Thunderbirds, earning a goal and an assist for two points. He scored his first AHL goal in his second AHL game on Feb. 17 vs. Providence.
Muse is an eighth-year pro who posted a 2-2-0 record and one shutout in four games played with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. During one of his wins, Muse set a franchise record by making nine saves on nine shots faced in a shootout against the Hershey Bears on Dec. 9, 2018. He also became the first Penguins goalie since 2003 to allow four goals or fewer in his first three starts with the team. The East Falmouth, Massachusetts native racked up a 2.00 goals against average and .934 save percentage in his four contests with the Penguins this season, too.
Josephs posted three points, all assists, in 11 games played with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. At the time of his recall to the Penguins on Nov. 26, the 24-year-old from Whitby, Ontario led the Nailers in goals (12) and points (18). Josephs was named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 12 – 18 after racking up six goals and seven points across three contests, including his second career hat trick.
KEVIN SPINOZZI RECALLED FROM WHEELING
Dec 28th, 2018
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today they have recalled defenseman Kevin Spinozzi from their ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.
Spinozzi has enjoyed much success so far this season, topping all ECHL blueliners with 11 goals and 28 points in 26 games played this season. The 22-year-old defenseman’s impressive totals also place him third on the Nailers in both goals and points, and he leads the team with 97 shots on goal. Spinozzi earns this recall to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while on a seven-game point streak with Wheeling, including back-to-back three-point outings in the Nailers’ last two games on Dec. 21 and 22 at Norfolk.
The native of Granby, Québec was an undrafted free agent who posted two assists in 16 games as a member of the Penguins last season. In his rookie year, Spinozzi also appeared in 12 games for Wheeling, registering two goals and three assists for five points in that time.
Nailers Loan Nick Saracino to Binghamton Devils
Dec 26th, 2018
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has loaned forward Nick Saracino to the AHL's Binghamton Devils. Saracino has signed a professional tryout with Binghamton.
Saracino, 26, gets rewarded for a recent run that has turned plenty of heads around the ECHL. Nick has picked up points in ten consecutive games, totaling 12 goals, 11 assists, and 23 points. He has posted multiple point efforts in eight of the ten tilts, including a five-point day against the Indy Fuel on December 9th. The individual success has been matched by team success, as the Nailers have gone 8-1-1 during those ten games to climb into third place in the Central Division. The St. Louis, Missouri native currently sits second in the ECHL in scoring, with 17 goals, 20 assists, and 37 points in 27 games. Saracino was originally acquired by Wheeling during the summer in a trade that sent Nick Sorkin to the Worcester Railers.
NAILERS SIGN GOALTENDER JORDAN RUBY
Dec 6th, 2018
HEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has signed goaltender Jordan Ruby to an ECHL contract.
Ruby, 27, is currently in the midst of his fourth professional season and third in North America. After completing his four-year collegiate career at R.I.T., Jordan made 26 saves in his pro debut, earning a victory for the Toledo Walleye in the closing weeks of the 2014-15 campaign. The Tavistock, Ontario native then spent the majority of his rookie year in his home province, compiling a 6-9-3 record, a 3.12 goals against average, and a .903 save percentage with the Brampton Beast. Ruby has posted excellent numbers over parts of two seasons with the SPHL's Macon Mayhem, going 29-8-5 in 42 games. He spent the entire 2017-18 season in Brest, France.
NAILERS SIGN MIKE FAZIO
Nov 29th, 2018
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has signed forward Mike Fazio to an ECHL contract.
Fazio, 26, attended training camp with the Nailers, and scored the shootout winning goal in the team's second exhibition contest against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Mike started the regular season with the SPHL's Evansville Thunderbolts, recording one goal, eight assists, and nine points in 14 games. This is his second tour of duty with Evansville, as Fazio posted 15 points in 43 games with the Thunderbolts as a rookie last year. Prior to turning pro, the Bartlett, Illinois native attended the University of Wisconsin River Falls for four years. As a Falcon, Mike appeared in 103 games, tallying 18 goals, 20 assists, and 38 points.
TROY JOSEPHS RECALLED TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON
Nov 26th, 2018
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Forward Troy Josephs has been recalled by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Josephs, 24, spent one month with the Nailers, and was magnificent during that time, as he led the team with 12 goals, six assists, and 18 points in 13 games. Troy joined the team on October 27th in Reading, and made an immediate impact, posting a goal and an assist in Wheeling's first victory of the season. He went on to score multiple points five more times, including a hat trick in a 4-1 win at Jacksonville on November 16th.
The AHL contracted forward made his way onto the scoresheet in ten of 13 games, and figured into the scoring of 18 of the club's 36 goals while he was in the lineup. Josephs' 12 goals are tied for second in the ECHL, and he was named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for the week of November 12-18. Troy has appeared in 18 career games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, tallying one goal and two assists.
PENGUINS REASSIGN JOHN MUSE TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON
Nov 23th, 2018
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Pittsburgh has reassigned goaltender John Muse to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Muse, 30, has appeared in nine games for the Nailers thus far this season, posting a 4-5-0 record, a 2.98 goals against average, and an .892 save percentage. John's Wheeling debut was a strong one, as he stopped 37 of 39 shots against the Reading Royals on October 27th, helping the Nailers to a 3-2 shootout win - their first victory of the year. Another excellent performance for the East Falmouth, Massachusetts native came during the team's recent three-game road trip, when he made 36 saves on 37 shots in a 4-1 victory against the Jacksonville Icemen. This is the eighth professional season for Muse, who won the 2012 Kelly Cup with the Florida Everblades
The 2018-2019 Nailers opening roster is set!
We know there's a couple new faces in Nail City, so get to know this season's team below.
NAILERS ANNOUNCE 2018-19 OPENING ROSTER
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their opening roster for the 2018-19 season. The roster consists of 25 players - 13 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goaltenders.
The 2018-19 roster has an average age of 25 years old, with a solid mixture of experienced players and rookies. 16 of the 25 players are rookies by ECHL standards (less than 25 games played at the "AA" level or higher), while six players have played at least two seasons in the ECHL or the AHL. Five players have played with the Nailers previously during their careers.
Starting in the goal crease, the Nailers will open the 2018-19 campaign with three netminders. Matt O'Connor and Danny Tirone both spent time in Wheeling at the end of last season, as O'Connor begins his fourth professional season, while Tirone is a rookie. The newcomer to the nets is Evan Cowley, who split last season between the Manchester Monarchs and the AHL's Springfield Thunderbirds.
One the blueline, Dan Fick returns for his fourth season in a Wheeling uniform, and is the only remaining player from the 2016 Eastern Conference Championship team. Kevin Spinozzi is another familiar face on defense, as he tallied five points in 12 games with the Nailers last year. Johnny Austin, Aaron Titcomb, and Dane Birks all got their first tastes of the pro game in the spring, as Austin appeared in nine games with the AHL's Laval Rocket, while Titcomb posted two points in two games with the Adirondack Thunder. Birks played in one game with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and is the lone member of this season's group under NHL contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Robbie Hall and Craig Skudalski both come in with multiple years of experience in the SPHL, while Josh Couturier and Brien Diffley will both be making their professional debuts.
Up front, Cam Brown is the lone returner, as he is coming off a sparkling rookie season, in which he registered 53 points in 55 games. Four other forwards have significant experience in the ECHL. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native Zac Lynch will play close to home, following a 22-goal season with the Manchester Monarchs. Winston Day Chief also put 22 pucks into the back of the net last season, doing so as a member of the Cincinnati Cyclones. Day Chief is a veteran, having played in 262 pro games. Nick Saracino goes from the Railers to the Nailers, after collecting 37 points a year ago. Christian Isackson played two seasons for the Wichita Thunder, before spending the last two years in Europe. Similar to a few of the defensemen, Alex Rauter made his pro debut in the spring, playing both regular season and playoff games with the Atlanta Gladiators. Brad Drobot, Eliot Grauer, and Mark Petaccio have all spent at least one season in the SPHL, and Michael Phillips played in France last year, while Tyler Bird, Renars Krastenbergs, and Cedric Lacroix will all put on a professional uniform for the first time in their careers.
Forward Yush Hirano is not on the opening roster, but is in the process of getting his immigration approved, so that he may join the team in the coming weeks.
Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations Mike Bavis is entering his first season with the Nailers. Joining him on the hockey operations staff are Assistant Coach Dylan Clarke (1st season), Athletic Trainer Jared Degler (3rd season), and Wheeling, West Virginia native Bill Higgins, who is beginning his 16th season as the team's equipment manager.
DJ Abisalih is the Voice of the Nailers for the eighth season, and you can catch his broadcast of the season opener on Mix 97.3, when the Nailers visit the Norfolk Admirals on Saturday night at 7:00. Wheeling's first home game will take place on November 3rd against the Indy Fuel, featuring a pregame party, the induction of the Wheeling Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2018, and the debut of the team's new alternate jersey. 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. For information on season tickets, group tickets, flex plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.
2018-19 Wheeling Nailers Opening Roster
3 D Aaron Titcomb
4 F Alex Rauter
5 D Dan Fick
7 F Tyler Bird
11 F Christian Isackson
12 F Renars Krastenbergs
13 F Nick Saracino
14 F Cedric Lacroix
15 F Eliot Grauer
16 D Craig Skudalski
17 F Winston Day Chief
19 F Mark Petaccio
20 D Johnny Austin
21 F Cam Brown
22 D Kevin Spinozzi
23 F Michael Phillips
24 D Josh Couturier
25 F Brad Drobot
26 D Brien Diffley
27 F Zac Lynch
28 D Dane Birks
30 G Matt O'Connor
31 G Evan Cowley
35 G Danny Tirone
37 D Robbie Hall
New Alternate Jerseys
THE MOMENT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!
We're proud to introduce our black & gold third jerseys for the 2018-2019 season!
The alternate jerseys were unveiled. This season's alternate jerseys follow a similar model to that of the Pittsburgh Penguins, utilizing Sunflower Yellow as the primary color. The circular Wheeling Nailers logo is located on the crest of the jerseys, while the shoulders are identical to the team's main jerseys, with Pittsburgh's logo displayed on the left shoulder, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins logo on the right shoulder. The Nailers will wear their alternate jerseys for the home opener.
See all that happened leading up to the 27th season, 2018.19, by visiting the Pre-season page here: https://www.nailersboosters.com/preseason