WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a trade. Wheeling has acquired forward Nick Saracino from the Worcester Railers in exchange for forward Nick Sorkin. Saracino has signed an ECHL contract with the Nailers, becoming the first player on the team to do so this summer.
Saracino, 26, will be entering his third full season of professional hockey and second in the ECHL. Nick's pro career began at the conclusion of the 2015-16 campaign, when he joined the AHL's Iowa Wild after completing his collegiate career. He spent the following year with the Wild as well, compiling eight points in 40 games overall. This past season, the St. Louis, Missouri native was a member of the Worcester Railers. In 61 regular season games, Saracino tallied 12 goals, 25 assists, and 37 points. He then tacked on three goals, two assists, and five points during Worcester's first round playoff series against the Adirondack Thunder. Nick was most productive against the Nailers, accumulating four goals, five assists, and nine points in the nine-game season series.
"We are thrilled to welcome Nick to the Nailers," said Wheeling Head Coach Mark Dennehy. "He brings a winning mentality, having been a pivotal part of Providence College's NCAA Championship team. He can be a dominant power forward and typifies how we want to play."
Prior to turning pro, Saracino attended Providence College for four years, where he majored in Accounting, while playing for the Friars. Nick had a very successful college career, notching at least ten goals in all four seasons at Providence, led by a 14-goal, 38-point output during his junior year. That campaign proved to be extra special, as the Friars won the NCAA National Championship with a 4-3 comeback win over Hockey East rival Boston University at T.D. Garden in Boston. Providence College reached the NCAA National Tournament in three of Saracino's four years on campus. Nick was college hockey teammates for one year with Derek Army, and junior hockey teammates for one year with Riley Bourbonnais, when they played for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
"I played against teams that Mark Dennehy coached in college, so I am really excited to work under him, win games, and get Wheeling back into the playoffs," Saracino said. "I try to be a two-way forward, who will score goals and play defense. Wheeling has a good atmosphere with good fans, and I am looking forward to learning the city."
Sorkin, 27, recently completed his second season with the Nailers, as he moves on to his second ECHL team. Nick turned in strong offensive numbers in both of his campaigns in Wheeling, finishing third on the team in scoring with 57 points in 2016-17, before topping the squad with 58 points this past season. His 49 assists in 2017-18 were tied with three other players for the most by a Nailer in the last 14 years. Prior to coming to Wheeling, the Rockville, Maryland native played parts of two seasons with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs, in addition to one season in Sweden with Vasteras IK.
Nick Saracino and the Wheeling Nailers will begin the 2018-19 season on October 13th, when they visit the Norfolk Admirals. Wheeling's first home game will take place on November 3rd against the Indy Fuel. For information on season tickets, group tickets, flex plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.