WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their sixth player signing of the 2018 offseason. Wheeling has signed forward Alex Rauter to an ECHL contract.
Rauter, 24, made his professional debut at the end of this past season, when he joined the Atlanta Gladiators for the stretch run and the Kelly Cup Playoffs. On March 31st, Alex appeared in his first game, scoring a goal on the road against the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Florida Everblades. The forward followed that up with two assists in his second game, helping Atlanta into the win column against the Orlando Solar Bears. After suiting up in three regular season contests, Rauter was in the lineup in all four playoff games for the Gladiators, tallying one goal.
"Alex Rauter was the captain of Cornell last season," said Nailers Head Coach Mark Dennehy. "He is really smart, and a gifted offensive player, who is incredibly versatile. Anytime you can get a captain from Cornell on your roster, that's a big win."
Prior to turning pro, the Chatham, New Jersey native attended Cornell University, where he played four years of college hockey for the Big Red. Rauter's productivity increased each year while he was at school, culminating with 11 goals and 20 points in his senior season of 2017-18, which ranked third on the team. During his four year career, he accumulated 20 goals, 23 assists, and 43 points in 93 games. Alex will look to continue a positive trend of Cornell graduates making big contributions in Wheeling, following in the footsteps of his former teammates John McCarron and Christian Hilbrich.
"Mark Dennehy was big in the process of bringing me to Wheeling - he coached against me in college, and I liked his style," Rauter said. "It was lots of fun playing in the playoffs with Atlanta. It was a whole new level, and I got to see how hard everyone works. I like to pride myself on being a complete player, who brings lots of offense to the table, and plays defensively as well."
Alex Rauter 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. 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.