WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their ninth player signing of the 2017 offseason. Wheeling has signed defenseman Jake Bolton to an ECHL contract.
Bolton, 25, enters his second full season of professional hockey and third overall, after spending time with the Atlanta Gladiators and Wichita Thunder. Jake first joined the Gladiators during the final weeks of the 2015-16 campaign, after completing his collegiate career. He made his pro debut on March 18th against Greenville, then netted his first career goal on March 29th at South Carolina. The blueliner returned to Atlanta to begin the 2016-17 season, before being traded to Wichita on January 18th. Between the two clubs, he finished the year with two goals, ten assists, and 12 points in 55 contests.
"Jake Bolton is a puck mover, who can make the first outlet pass, and has offensive upside," said Nailers Head Coach Jeff Christian. "I am excited to see what he can do for us, as I believe he can fit our system well."
Prior to turning pro, the Ellington, Connecticut native attended Holy Cross University for four years, where he majored in Philosophy, while playing for the Crusaders. Bolton's best collegiate season came during his junior year of 2014-15, when he set career highs with seven goals and 19 points. Over the course of his time in Worcester, Jake skated in 145 games, tallying 11 goals, 43 assists, and 54 points. Jake also played one season with the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, capturing an EJHL Championship.
"I had a really good talk with Jeff Christian, and Wheeling couldn't have been a better fit for me," Bolton said. "I am a big body defenseman, who can battle in front of the net and move the puck. Wheeling is a hockey town with a great fan base, and I am coming to make an impact."
Jake Bolton and the Wheeling Nailers will begin the 2017-18 season with two road games against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on October 13th and 14th. The home opener at WesBanco Arena takes place on October 21st at 7:05, when the Nailers do battle with the Cincinnati Cyclones. To purchase season, flex, or group tickets, or to get more information on tickets and events, call (304) 234-GOAL.