WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced two transactions, which both take effect immediately. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have recalled forward Christian Hilbrich, and the Nailers have signed forward John Siemer.
Hilbrich, 24, earns his first recall of the season to the American Hockey League, as he has played in all 48 games with the Nailers. After a bit of a slow start, Christian's year took off in a big way, as he has collected 34 points in his last 40 games, which moved him into fifth place on the team in scoring. January was the most productive month for the rookie forward, as he racked up nine goals, eight assists, 17 points, and a +15 rating in 12 games. While his offensive numbers have certainly been impressive, the Port Credit, Ontario native is extremely responsible on both ends of the rink, as his +22 rating is tops among rookies in the ECHL. Prior to turning pro, Hilbrich played four seasons of college hockey at Cornell University, where he totaled 27 goals, 21 assists, and 48 points in 111 contests.
Siemer, 25, will suit up for his third ECHL team this season, after recording one assist in six games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, while going scoreless in two tilts with the Quad City Mallards. The remainder of John's time has been spent with the SPHL's Macon Mayhem, where he has had tremendous success offensively. In 30 games with the Mayhem, the Baldwin Park, California native has amassed 13 goals, 18 assists, and 31 points, placing him in a tie for sixth in the league in scoring. Prior to turning pro, Siemer attended Northern Michigan University for three seasons, where he had 16 goals, 27 assists, and 43 points in 85 career games.
John Siemer is expected to be in the lineup for the Nailers on Friday night, as they play the second of back-to-back games against the Brampton Beast at 7:35. Promotions for the night are Flat Screen Friday and Frosty Friday. On Saturday night, Wheeling will play host to the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:05, and it's A Valley Divided - Steelers vs. Browns Night. Fans are encouraged to wear their favorite football team's colors to the game that night, while having the opportunity to meet Merril Hoge and Earnest Byner. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, mini plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.