WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced a trade. Wheeling has acquired forward Zac Lynch from the Manchester Monarchs in exchange for future considerations. Lynch has signed an ECHL contract, making him the second player under contract for the upcoming season.
Lynch, 26, is set to begin his third full season of professional hockey, after spending the majority of his first two years with the Manchester Monarchs. Zac first debuted as a pro with the AHL's Portland Pirates at the end of the 2015-16 season, picking up one assist in seven games. In his rookie campaign of 2016-17, he was a point-per-game player with Manchester, amassing 18 goals and 16 assists in 34 games, while also appearing in 21 tilts with the AHL's Springfield Thunderbirds. Last season, Lynch finished second on the Monarchs in scoring, racking up 22 goals, 24 assists, and 46 points in 58 matches. Once again, he saw AHL time as well, collecting three points in eight games with the Utica Comets.
"Zac is an established scorer at this level," said Nailers Head Coach Mark Dennehy. "We couldn't be happier to bring him home to the Pittsburgh area."
Prior to turning pro, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native attended Robert Morris University, where he majored in Manufacturing Engineering, while playing four years of college hockey for the Colonials. Lynch had tremendous success at RMU, posting 67 goals, 89 assists, and 156 points in 152 games. His 67 goals and 156 points both rank second in school history, while his 89 assists rank third. Zac's best season with the Colonials was his senior year of 2015-16, when he recorded 25 goals, 30 assists, and 55 points in 39 games. The 55 points are the second most in a single season in school history. Lynch was teammates at Robert Morris with two players who went on to spend time in Wheeling - Cody Wydo and Daniel Leavens. Lynch, Wydo, and Leavens were part of the 2013-14 Colonials, who were the first to ever reach the NCAA National Tournament.
"This is very exciting for me, as I will be near my hometown of Pittsburgh and near my family and friends," Lynch said. "I watched the organization a lot growing up, and I am humbled to be part of such a storied team. I pride myself on being a solid two-way player. Special teams are a big part of my game, and my ability to score has driven me every year to produce more. My goal is to better myself, while also pushing my teammates to get better."
Zac Lynch 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.