WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce four player signings for the upcoming season, bringing their total up to 16. Wheeling has signed forwards Tyler Bird, Yushiroh Hirano, Andrew Schmit, and Bryan Sienerth.
Bird, 22, was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, before attending Brown University for four years. The Andover, Massachusetts native appeared in 120 games with the Bears, compiling 22 goals, 13 assists, and 35 points. Tyler has been an extremely durable player, missing just four games during his entire collegiate career.
Hirano, 23, will become the second Japanese player in Wheeling's professional hockey history, joining Hiroyuki Miura, who played in six games for the Thunderbirds in 1993-94. This will be Yushiroh's second time playing in North America, as he finished third in scoring with 46 points for the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms during the 2015-16 campaign. Since then, the Tomakomai, Japan native has spent time with the Tohoku Free Blades in his home country, as well as Kalmar HC in Sweden.
Schmit, 27, will be entering his second ECHL season and third as a pro, while becoming the fifth returning player to the Nailers. The Grafton, Wisconsin native dished out three assists in ten games with Wheeling last season, giving him six points in 28 ECHL games overall. Andrew attended the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Miami University (Ohio), before starting his professional career with the SPHL's Pensacola Ice Flyers in 2016-17.
Sienerth, 22, is coming off of his best collegiate season, as he prepares to make the jump to the professional level. The Erie, Pennsylvania native attended college in his hometown at Mercyhurst University, where he skated with the Lakers for four seasons. Last year, Bryan racked up ten goals, 16 assists, and 26 points in 33 games, giving him career totals of 13 goals, 22 assists, and 35 points in 81 games.
"This group of forwards rounds out a diverse group of players up front," said Nailers Head Coach Mike Bavis. "These players have come from different backgrounds, and we believe that they all have tremendous upside. They have size, speed, skill, and playmaking ability."
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.