WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins have announced a trade. Wheeling has traded forward Hunter Fejes to the Orlando Solar Bears in exchange for forwards Chris Francis and Michael Turner, as well as future considerations. In a separate transaction, Adam Morrison returned to the Nailers, after being released from his PTO with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Francis, 28, was originally acquired by Orlando from the Quad City Mallards, before being flipped to the Nailers. Chris is a veteran player, with 402 games of professional experience, including 366 in the ECHL. The Las Vegas, Nevada native spent the majority of his first four seasons with his hometown Las Vegas Wranglers, including the 2011-12 campaign, when the Wranglers reached the Kelly Cup Final. Francis' most productive season came in 2014-15, when he recorded 62 points with the Alaska Aces. After playing one season in Austria, Chris returned to the ECHL in 2016-17, and picked up where he left off, racking up 27 goals and 60 points with the Quad City Mallards. Thus far this season, the 5-foot-9 forward has collected three goals, three assists, and six points in 11 contests.
"Chris Francis is a veteran center, who has been around this league, and plays the role of a skilled playmaker," said Nailers Head Coach Jeff Christian. "He has been a point per game guy in his last few seasons, and that will help to kick start our offense."
Turner, 22, has two goals and a fighting major in nine games with the Solar Bears this season. This is Michael's second professional campaign, as he played for Orlando, Greenville, and Roanoke (SPHL) as a rookie. In 32 career ECHL games, the Oak Park, Illinois native has accumulated three goals, three assists, six points, and 23 penalty minutes. One of Turner's biggest career accomplishments took place in 2014-15, when he was part of the Memorial Cup Champion Oshawa Generals. Additionally, Michael played parts of two seasons in the USHL, while also attending Cushing Academy.
"Michael Turner is a young, hard-nosed forward, who will work hard," Christian said. "He is a gritty player, who finishes all of his checks, and since he is young, he will be valuable to us now, as well as in the future."
Fejes, 23, was signed by the Nailers during the offseason, and tallied 16 goals, 11 assists, and 27 points during his 32 games with the club. Hunter's biggest highlight in a Wheeling uniform was a four-goal game against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on October 14th. The Anchorage, Alaska native is playing in his second professional season, after completing his collegiate career at Colorado College.
Morrison, 26, returns to Wheeling after spending the last weekend with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Adam has appeared in nine games with the Nailers thus far this season, compiling a 2-7-0 record, despite a 3.04 goals against average, and a .900 save percentage. The White Rock, British Columbia native had his best outing in a Wheeling uniform on December 12th, when he made 35 saves in a 3-2 victory against the Indy Fuel.
The Nailers will be home twice this weekend to start 2018. First up is a Frosty Friday against the Manchester Monarchs on January 5th at 7:05. Then, January 7th is a Family Funday at 3:05 against the Fort Wayne Komets, featuring a post game skate with the team (odd-numbered players). The next big promotional game is Bricks & Kids Night on January 13th, when the first 2,500 fans receive an OYO Sports Figurine. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.