TEAM NEWS

Nailers Begin Search for Next Head Coach
Team Elects Not to Renew Head Coach Mike Bavis' Contract

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have elected not to renew head coach Mike Bavis’ contract, and he will not be returning for the 2020-21 season.

The search for the 19th head coach in team history begins immediately.

“We would like to thank Mike for the work he did for our organization, and we wish him the best as he moves forward," said Nailers Governor Don Rigby. "We remain committed to putting a winning team on the ice, and believe it is in the best interest of the team to move in a different direction for the 2020-21 season."

Bavis served as head coach of the Nailers for two seasons. During that time, the team posted a 55-61-15 record and failed to reach the playoffs.

ECHL Cancels Remainder of 2019-20 Season

On Saturday, the ECHL Board of Governors approved the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 Season.  

A statement from ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin:

The decision by the ECHL to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 Season does not come lightly, as this is an emotional time for our Players, Coaches, Member Teams, Fans and Staff.   At this point in the Season, there has been immense dedication and countless hours committed in moving towards what is traditionally the most exciting part of the hockey year.

With that said however, as each passing day raises additional concerns for the safety of those in the ECHL community and as we take precautionary measures in conjunction with our local authorities across the continent to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it has become apparent that this is the prudent decision.  Our game and our product are based on our Fans and their ability to cheer on their favorite ECHL team and Players at one of our many facilities around the continent.  Without that social environment and game atmosphere, the ECHL simply isn’t the same.

On behalf of the ECHL and our Board of Governors, we appreciate the Professional Hockey Players’ Association for their assistance during this unprecedented time and working as partners in hockey to reach this decision for the best interest of the ECHL and its Players.  This decision allows our Players the opportunity to return to their homes and removes the uncertainty that currently exists.

While we are hopeful that this period ceases and an opportunity to return to normalcy for the hockey calendar presents itself, in the interim, we ask all Fans, Players, Coaches, Officials, and Staff to continue to abide by the measures put in place by their local authorities and follow precautionary protocols for their safety, as we will begin preparations for the 2020-21 ECHL Hockey Season.

Christopher Brown Returns to Nailers
Rookie Forward has Produced 19 Points in 38 Games

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Christopher Brown has returned to the Nailers from the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Brown, 24, has enjoyed a solid rookie season in Wheeling, as he has recorded 11 goals, eight assists, and 19 points in 38 games. Christopher scored his first professional goal with the Nailers on October 25th against Tulsa, then went on an offensive tear in December, as he led the team with 13 points in 12 games. During his most recent stint, the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native picked up one goal and one assist in four games, helping Wheeling to a 2-1-1 record during its 4-1-1 homestand to end January and begin February. Brown has now appeared in 16 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.

JUSTIN ALMEIDA REASSIGNED TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON
Fifth-round pick, in 2018, played in seven games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton earlier this season

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that forward Justin Almeida has been reassigned by the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL).

Almeida, a fifth-round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2018, played in seven games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. In that time, the 21-year-old rookie posted one goal.

The Kitimat, British Columbia native played in 37 games for the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate after being reassigned to the Nailers on Nov. 25, 2019. In that time, Almeida managed five goals and 11 assists for 16 points.

Prior to turning pro, Almeida enjoyed a four-year career playing major junior hockey in the Western Hockey League. He racked up 111 points (33G-78A) in 64 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2019-20, and his 78 assists ranked first in the entire league. Almeida finished his WHL career with 243 points (89G-154A) in 256 games played with the Warriors and Prince George Cougars.

Pittsburgh Reassigns Drozg to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
20-Year Old Recorded Three Points in Four Games During Recent Stretch

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Pittsburgh has reassigned forward Jan Drozg to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Drozg, 20, recorded points in three of the four games he played in during his recent stint with the Nailers, raising his season totals in the ECHL to 13 goals, ten assists, and 23 points in 24 games. The 13 goals and 23 points are both second on the team among rookies, as he trails only Brandon Hawkins in those categories. The 2017 Pittsburgh draft pick has appeared in 28 AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, totaling four goals, two assists, and six points.

Nailers Acquire Beaudry from Reading for Titcomb
Wheeling Also Adds Forward Carlos Fornaris

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has traded defenseman Aaron Titcomb to the Reading Royals in exchange for defenseman Jeremy Beaudry.

Titcomb, 26, appeared in 90 games over the course of two seasons with the Nailers, and accumulated two goals, 11 assists, and 13 points. After making his professional debut with the Adirondack Thunder at the close of the 2017-18 season, Aaron signed on with Wheeling in the summer of 2018, and went on to score his first career goal against Adirondack on January 16th of last season. The Charlestown, Massachusetts native's lone marker of this season was a game winner against Norfolk on New Year's Eve, as he eclipsed his career high in points. Titcomb was the Community Award Winner for the Nailers during the 2018-19 season, and was having another strong year in that department this season.

Beaudry, 26, is playing in his third ECHL season, having compiled four goals, 16 assists, and 20 points with Reading. Jeremy first turned pro by appearing in four games with the Brampton Beast during the 2014-15 campaign, then attended the University of Quebec Trois Rivieres for three years, before returning to the ECHL with the Wichita Thunder in 2017. The Montmagny, Quebec native finished fourth among rookie defensemen in the ECHL with 37 points during the 2017-18 season, which included 13 goals, as the Thunder reached the playoffs for the only time during their tenure in the league. For his career, Beaudry has amassed 24 goals, 63 assists, and 87 points in 177 ECHL games, while also appearing in one contest with the AHL's Bakersfield Condors. Jeremy has also been a strong member of the community, as he won the ECHL's Community Award in 2017-18.

In a separate transaction, the Nailers also signed forward Carlos Fornaris. A 25-year old from Miami, Florida, Fornaris just completed his four-year collegiate career at New England College. Carlos tallied 27 goals, 98 assists, and 125 points in 103 games, which included a career-high 42-point output as a senior this year. Fornaris also spent two seasons with Topeka of the NAHL, one year with Cedar Rapids of the USHL, and part of one season with Connecticut in the USPHL.

Larmi & Drozg Reassigned to Nailers
Wheeling Adds Two NHL Contracted Players, Heading into Six Games in Eight Days

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced two transactions, which both take effect immediately. Pittsburgh has reassigned goaltender Emil Larmi and forward Jan Drozg to Wheeling from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Larmi, 23, returns for his second stint with the Nailers, after going 4-3-0 with a 2.36 goals against average and a .941 save percentage in seven appearances during December and January. Emil backstopped a shutout against Toledo in his Wheeling debut, then turned in three other sensational performances in his wins, making 39, 46, and 48 saves respectively. The Lahti, Finland native has also been between the pipes for nine games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, going 2-3-4. This is Larmi's first season of hockey in North America, following three years of playing professionally in Finland. Emil will be sporting a new uniform number for the Nailers, as he will wear #60.

Drozg, 20, had an outstanding start to the season for the Nailers, as he racked up 11 goals, nine assists, and 20 points in 20 games. Jan netted his first career goal with Wheeling on October 18th in Fort Wayne, then notched three or points in a game on three different occasions, including a career-high four-point effort in a 6-5 overtime win over the Komets on November 17th. The Maribor, Slovenia native has suited up in 28 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, accumulating four goals, two assists, and six points. Drozg is a rookie, who was selected by Pittsburgh in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Nailers Acquire Kyle McKenzie from Worcester
Third Year Pro Defenseman Scored Tying Goal in 2015 NCAA Natioonal Championship Game

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has acquired defenseman Kyle McKenzie from the Worcester Railers in exchange for future considerations.

McKenzie, 27, is currently playing in his third ECHL season, as he prepares to play for his second team, after spending each of his first three years in Worcester. This season, Kyle has recorded one goal, five assists, and six points in 39 games, bringing his career totals to four goals, 14 assists, and 18 points in 128 contests. The Aston, Pennsylvania native also suited up in five playoff games during the Railers' inaugural campaign. Prior to turning pro, McKenzie attended Providence College for four years, where he majored in Social Science. In 2014-15, Kyle scored the tying goal in the National Championship Game against Boston University, as the Friars rallied for a 4-3 victory.

Nailers Acquire Josh Holmstrom from Norfolk
Sixth Year Veteran has Been Part of Two Brabham Cup Teams

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has acquired forward Josh Holmstrom from the Norfolk Admirals in exchange for future considerations.

Holmstrom, 30, was second on the Admirals in scoring at the time of the trade, having recorded eight goals, 19 assists, and 27 points in 50 games. Josh is now the lone veteran player on Wheeling's roster, as he has appeared in 359 professional games - 251 in the ECHL and 108 in the AHL. Despite playing for a struggling team this season, the Colorado Springs, Colorado native has experienced great success in the ECHL, as he was a member of back-to-back Brabham Cup Championships with the 2014-15 Toledo Walleye and 2015-16 Missouri Mavericks. Holmstrom spent the majority of the next two seasons with the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers, before tallying 30 points in 70 games with the Worcester Railers last year. Josh got another taste of postseason action with Worcester in 2017-18, when he was teammates with current Nailers captain Nick Saracino. Holmstrom is expected to join Wheeling on its current road trip.

GRAHAM KNOTT REASSIGNED TO PENGUINS
Knott has six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 18 games.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that forward Graham Knott has been reassigned by the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL).

Knott came to the Penguins organization on Nov. 21, 2019 in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Joseph Cramarossa. After the acquisition, the 22-year-old played in three games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but did not record any points.

With the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, Knott proceeded to post six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 18 games. The Etobicoke, Ontario native has also been on a tear lately for Wheeling, racking up nine points (4G-5A) in his last seven games. Knott, a second-round draft pick by Chicago in 2015, started the year with the Blackhawks’ ECHL affiliate, the Indy Fuel. In 13 games played with Indy, Knott had five goals and four assists for nine points.

Prior to turning pro, Knott played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and captured the 2017 Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires. He played 250 OHL games as a member of the Spitfires or Niagara IceDogs, amassing 60 goals and 99 assists for 159 points.

Nailers, Penguins Swap Forwards
Scarfo Recalled to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Hawkins Returned to Wheeling

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 Ryan Scarfo and loaned Brandon Hawkins to the Nailers.

Scarfo, 25, has been on a strong run during the past few weeks, accumulating points in five of his last six games, while helping the Nailers to a 4-2-0 record during that span. Ryan currently ranks tied for third on the team with 12 goals, while placing fifth on the club with 26 points. The North Chelmsford, Massachusetts native's top two statistical performances both came in wins, as he scored two goals against Reading on November 8th, while dishing out three assists at Indy on December 29th. Scarfo has appeared in two games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, and has appeared in 46 career AHL games with the Penguins and Senators.

Hawkins, 25, suited up in three games during his recent recall to the Penguins, giving him six AHL games on the season. Brandon has been one of Wheeling's top offensive performers this year, as he currently ranks tied for second with 14 goals, while placing fourth with 27 points. Both are the most among rookies. The Macomb, Michigan native scored the squad's lone hat trick of the season as part of a 6-2 victory over Kalamazoo on December 6th. Hawkins tallied seven points in six games with the Nailers prior to his recall.

Powell Recalled by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Forward Clicked at Over a Point-Per-Game Clip in Wheeling

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have recalled forward Myles Powell.

Powell, 25, missed significant time due to injury, but returned to the lineup last week, and promptly recorded one goal, two assists, and three points in three games, as the Nailers won two out of three contests to close out a 4-1-1 homestand. Myles dished out his two helpers in Friday's 3-2 victory over the Orlando Solar Bears, with his second assist feeding Cam Brown for the winning goal with 4:09 left in the third period. Then, on Tuesday, the Courtenay, British Columbia native lit the lamp in overtime, as Wheeling rallied past the Kansas City Mavericks. Powell has recorded six goals, 14 assists, and 20 points in 19 games with the Nailers, and will become the 12th member of this year's team to appear in both an AHL and ECHL game this season.

Penguins Recall Christopher Brown
Rookie Forward Ranks Tied for Fourth on Team with 11 Goals

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Forward Christopher Brown has been recalled to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Brown, 23, returned to Wheeling from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton prior to the current homestand, and he went on to pick up one goal and one assist in four games. On the season, Christopher has appeared in 38 games with the Nailers, amassing 11 goals, eight assists, and 19 points. His 11 goals are tied for second on the team among rookies. The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native heads to the AHL for the second time this season, after suiting up in four games with the Penguins last month.

Hawkins Recalled to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Rookie Forward Led the Nailers with 14 Goals

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have recalled forward Brandon Hawkins.

Hawkins, 25, has had a great rookie year, as he leads the Nailers with 14 goals and 157 shots on goal, while ranking third on the club with 27 points. Brandon has collected three points on four different occasions, including the team's lone hat trick on December 6th against Kalamazoo, as well as a three-assist game last Saturday in a win against Cincinnati. This will be the Macomb, Michigan native's second recall to the AHL this season, as he appeared in three games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in October, and collected one assist.

Hirano's Pre-Olympic Qualification Highlights Transactions
Nailers Also Sign Forward Brady Fleurent

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a set of transactions, which all take effect immediately. Forward Yushiroh Hirano has joined Team Japan for a Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournament in Jesenice, Slovenia. The Nailers signed forward Brady Fleurent, while trading defenseman Cameron Heath to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and defenseman Jack Macnee to the Worcester Railers. Both trades were in exchange for future considerations.

Hirano, 24, played for Team Japan last summer in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, and has earned the opportunity to represent his home country once again. Japan will face Croatia, Lithuania, and Slovenia in a four-team tournament from February 6-9. The winner of the tournament will advance to a final qualification round in August. Yushiroh is currently tied for Wheeling's team lead with 29 points in 39 games. His season has featured two especially strong runs, as he opened the year with points in seven straight games, then tallied points in six consecutive contests from December 1-14. Hirano's 106 career ECHL games are the second most by a Japanese-born player all-time.

Fleurent, 25, has spent the majority of his rookie season with the SPHL's Knoxville Ice Bears, collecting six goals, 15 assists, and 21 points in 28 games. In January, he appeared in four games with the South Carolina Stingrays, and scored one goal, which came in a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Gladiators. Last year, Brady made his pro debut with the Gladiators, picking up one goal, two assists, and three points in six tilts. The native of Biddeford, Maine played college hockey in his home town, as he attended the University of New England. Fleurent eclipsed the 50-point plateau twice with the Nor'easters, en route to a 181-point collegiate career.

Heath, 25, appeared in ten games with the Nailers this season, tallying one assist in 13 games. Cameron was acquired by Wheeling in a trade with the Reading Royals, after beginning his pro career last spring with the South Carolina Stingrays. Macnee, 23, made his pro debut with Wheeling last spring, and was scoreless in 16 games this season.

Nailers Receive Brown, Abt, Kim from AHL
Wheeling Begins Key Six-Game Homestand on Friday

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 Christopher Brown and defensemen Matt Abt and Michael Kim from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Brown, 23, is the only one out of the three who has played in Wheeling this season. Christopher is currently tied for third on the Nailers with ten goals - seven of which were scored during December, when he led the way with 13 points, helping the team to a 7-5-0 record. The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native closed out that month with a six-game point streak, which featured three straight multi-point efforts. Brown appeared in four games during his recent recall to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - the second stint of his career with Wheeling's AHL affiliate.

Abt, 26, first broke into the professional ranks as a member of the Nailers at the end of the 2017-18 season. He appeared in 12 games, amassing one goal, five assists, and six points. During the summer of 2018, Matt re-signed with Wheeling, but was invited to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's training camp, and proceeded to make the team. Over the course of two seasons, the Leduc, Alberta native has appeared in 90 AHL contests, recording one goal, 15 assists, and 16 points. Abt netted his first career goal as a Penguin on November 30th against Bridgeport.

Kim, 24, will make his Wheeling debut, after playing each of his first 23 pro games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Michael has accumulated three assists during that time, which included two games last spring, following the conclusion of his collegiate career. Prior to turning pro, the Toronto, Ontario native attended Boston College for four seasons, where he tallied 14 goals, 48 assists, and 62 points in 140 games.

Familiar faces will be brought together with these transactions, as Christopher Brown and Michael Kim played college hockey together at Boston College, while Matt Abt was teammates with Myles Powell at R.I.T.

Penguins Reassign Larmi to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
First Year Nailer Set Season-High with 47 Saves on Sunday

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Pittsburgh has reassigned goaltender Emil Larmi to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Larmi, 23, has appeared in seven games with the Nailers this season, posting a 4-3-0 record, a 2.36 goals against average, and a .941 save percentage. Emil opened his Wheeling career with a 26-save shutout against the Toledo Walleye, then proceeded to make at least 35 saves in five of his next six starts. In his two most recent victories, the Lahti, Finland native turned aside 45 of 46 shots against the Norfolk Admirals, then did himself two better with a 47-save performance in Toledo. Larmi has appeared in five games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while also serving as Matt Murray's backup netminder for Pittsburgh on January 4th at Montreal. Prior to coming to North America, Emil backstopped 46 wins over the course of three years in Finland with HPK Hameenlinna.

Christopher Brown Recalled to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Rookie Forward Led Wheeling with 13 Points in December

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have recalled forward Christopher Brown.

Brown, 23, is playing in his first full season as a pro, and his offensive game has grown in a big way as the year has gone along. Christopher is third on the team with ten goals and tied for sixth on the team with 17 points, while appearing in all 34 games. Seven of his ten goals were scored in December, including back-to-back tilts with two goals, as the Nailers defeated Rapid City and Toledo as part of a 7-5-0 month. The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native attended Boston College for four years, then made his pro debut with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, appearing in three games at the end of last season. When Brown suits up for the Penguins, he will become the ninth member of the 2019-20 Nailers to appear in at least one AHL game this season.

Nailers Sign Ruslan Rakhmatov
Defenseman Recorded 41 Points & 279 Penalty Minutes at Sacred Heart University

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has signed defenseman Ruslan Rakhmatov to an ECHL contract.

Rakhmatov, 24, is set to begin his professional career, after playing three years of college hockey at Sacred Heart University. Ruslan accumulated seven goals, 34 assists, 41 points, and 279 penalty minutes in 98 career games with the Pioneers, with his best season coming as a sophomore, when he led the team in defensive scoring with 19 points. Prior to turning pro, the Moscow, Russia native played four years of junior hockey in North America, as he spent time in the USHL, NAHL, and EJHL. He registered double-digit points twice and triple-digit penalty minutes three times. Rakhmatov was teammates with Alec Butcher at Sacred Heart.

Cam Brown Named to 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic
Third Year Nailer Earns the Nod with 24 Points

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that Cam Brown will represent the Nailers at the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic in Wichita, Kansas. The game will be aired live on NHL Network at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22nd.

Brown, 26, is the lone member of this season's team who is playing in his third year with the Nailers. He currently ranks second on the team with 24 points, recording eight goals and 16 assists. Earlier this season, Cam became the 31st player in team history to collect 100 career points, with his 114 ranking 23rd all-time in 123 games played. The Natick, Massachusetts native earned AHL time in both of his first two seasons as a pro, as he appeared in 45 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Springfield Thunderbirds. In addition to his strong productivity, Brown is also one of Wheeling's leaders both on and off the ice, as he is one of two players who has served as captain during the 2019-20 campaign. One of the many highlights of Cam's all-star season was a four-point game against the Fort Wayne Komets on November 17th, when he scored the tying goal, then won the contest in overtime, while also posting a +5 rating.

Cam Brown will suit up for the Western Conference All-Stars, which is one of four teams that will compete at the All-Star Classic. There will be a 3-on-3 tournament, as well as a Skills Competition, which will contribute towards the cumulative score. The rosters for the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic were determined in a vote of coaches, team captains, media relations directors, broadcasters, and members of the media

Silence The Rumors, Penguin's Recall Larmi to the NHL
Wheeling's Netminder Expected to be in Uniform on Saturday, as the Pittsburgh Penguins Visit Montreal

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Pittsburgh has recalled goaltender Emil Larmi to the NHL.

Larmi, 23, has played outstanding hockey for the Nailers, posting a 3-1-0 record, a 1.51 goals against average, and a .959 save percentage in four starts. Emil made 26 saves to shutout Toledo in his Wheeling debut, then proceeded to turn away 35 and 45 shots in his other two victories over Indy and Norfolk respectively. The Lahti, Finland native has also appeared in five games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, as he plays his first pro season in North America.

Originally, the Penguins recalled former Nailers goaltender Casey DeSmith, but DeSmith was unable to join the club due to a lost passport. Larmi is expected to be in uniform with Pittsburgh on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens at Centre Bell.

GRAHAM KNOTT REASSIGNED TO WHEELING
Knott started season with Indy Fuel. In 13 games, Knott had five goals & four assists for nine points.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that forward Graham Knott has been reassigned by the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL).

Knott came to the Penguins organization on Nov. 21, 2019 in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Joseph Cramarossa. Since the acquisition, the 22-year-old has played in three games for Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton, but has not recorded any points.

Knott, a second-round draft pick by Chicago in 2015, started the year with the Blackhawks’ ECHL affiliate, the Indy Fuel. In 13 games played with Indy, Knott had five goals and four assists for nine points.

Prior to turning pro, Knott played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and captured the 2017 Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires. The Etobicoke, Ontario native played 250 OHL games as a member of the Spitfires or Niagara IceDogs, amassing 60 goals and 99 assists for 159 points.

Penguins Reassign Goaltender Emil Larmi to Nailers
Finnish Native Signed with Pittsburgh Following Three Seasons in Finland's Top Pro League

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Pittsburgh has reassigned goaltender Emil Larmi from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to Wheeling.

Larmi, 23, is currently playing in his first professional season in North America, and has appeared in five games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, posting a 1-2-2 record, a 4.43 goals against average, and a .861 save percentage. Emil earned his first career victory on October 16th, with a 30-save performance against the Binghamton Devils. Prior to signing an NHL contract with Pittsburgh during the summer, the Lahti, Finland native played three seasons in Finland's top professional league - SM-liiga, as a member of HPK Hameenlinna. Larmi collected 50 victories during that time, while keeping his goals against average under 2.30 and his save percentage at .900 or better during all three years. He also backstopped 15 shutouts.

Nailers Loan Johnson to Cleveland
Early Season Acquisition Leads Team in +/-, Ranks Second in Defensive Scoring

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has loaned defenseman Steve Johnson to the AHL's Cleveland Monsters.

Johnson, 25, was originally acquired by the Nailers in a trade with the South Carolina Stingrays earlier this season. Steve has been a consistent producer for Wheeling, especially in the last month, as he has racked up ten points in his last 14 games. The Excelsior, Minnesota native has also brought a strong defensive game to the team, as he is tied for the lead in +/-, with a +6 rating, to go along with his 12 total points in 25 contests. This is Johnson's second pro season, as he split last year between Reading and South Carolina, while also earning time in the AHL with Hershey.

Nailers Receive Justin Almeida from Penguins
2018 Pittsburgh Draft Pick Amassed 111 Points Last Season in the WHL

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have made a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Forward Justin Almeida has been reassigned from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to the Nailers by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Almeida, 20, made his professional debut at the start of this season, appearing in seven games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. On October 16th, Justin netted his first career goal, helping the Penguins rally back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Binghamton Devils, 5-3. Prior to turning pro, the North Vancouver, British Columbia native played in parts of five seasons in the WHL, starting with the Prince George Cougars, then finishing with the Moose Jaw Warriors. Almeida had loads of success in Moose Jaw, exploding for 224 points in 169 games, including a 111-point campaign last season. Justin was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the fifth round (129th overall pick) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Penguins Reassign Drozg to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Wheeling's Leading Scorer Earns Promotion to AHL with 11 Goals, 20 Points

WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Pittsburgh has reassigned forward Jan Drozg to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Drozg, 20, earns his promotion to the AHL, while leading the Nailers in scoring with nine goals, 11 assists, and 20 points in 20 games. Jan scored his first professional goal in Wheeling's second game of the season on October 18th at Fort Wayne. He then notched his first career two-goal game the following week, as part of a three-point performance in a 6-4 home win over Tulsa. At the start of November, the Maribor, Slovenia native went on a big run, which saw him collect at least one point in eight of ten games, including three tilts with two goals and a career-high four points in a 6-5 overtime triumph against Fort Wayne on November 17th. Drozg currently ranks second among ECHL rookies in goals and tied for fourth among ECHL rookies in points. Jan will become the fifth player to appear in a game for both Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, joining Justin Almeida, Macoy Erkamps, Brandon Hawkins, and Ryan Scarfo.

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.

Read More: https://www.wheelingnailers.com/en/news/nailers-announce-2018-19-opening-roster

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 

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