WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce that a 61st former Nailer/Thunderbird has made his National Hockey League debut. Jean-Sebastien Dea reached the NHL on Sunday night for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who suffered a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Dea, 23, played one game with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins during the 2013-14 season, before permanently turning pro the following year. The majority of Jean-Sebastien's rookie season was spent in the AHL, but he did appear in 14 games with the Nailers. The La Prairie, Quebec native had good success during his time in Wheeling, tallying four goals, three assists, and seven points. The Nailers were 7-6-1 with Dea in the lineup, with the most impactful game taking place on April 8th against the Reading Royals. His assist on Josh Archibald's game winning goal began a stretch of four straight wins, which helped Wheeling lock up a spot in the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Prior to his recall to Pittsburgh, Jean-Sebastien had appeared in 203 minor league contests, accumulating 51 goals, 45 assists, and 106 points.
On Sunday, Dea was on the ice for 11:18 of Pittsburgh's tilt against the Rangers. He took one shot on goal, delivered three hits, won a face-off, and took a minor penalty. Fellow former Nailer Carter Rowney netted his third goal of the season for the Penguins, but Jimmy Vesey snapped a 2-2 tie with 13:37 left, giving New York the win.
Jean-Sebastien Dea becomes the 61st Nailer/Thunderbird to reach the NHL, and the second player this season, joining Rowney. He is the fourth player from the 2014-15 roster to reach the NHL, joining Rowney, Archibald, and Morgan Ellis.
The 25th season of hockey in Wheeling has concluded. Stay tuned to wheelingnailers.com, the Nailers app, and social media networks for all of the latest information throughout the summer, as the team prepares for the 2017-18 season. To purchase season tickets, or to receive more information, call the Nailers at (304) 234-GOAL.