WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced three transactions, which all take effect immediately. Wheeling has received defenseman Jeff Taylor from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, loaned forward Zac Lynch to the Hartford Wolf Pack, and traded forward Alex Rauter to the Manchester Monarchs.
Taylor, 24, will be suiting up with the Nailers for the second straight season, after recording four goals, 15 assists, and 19 points in 28 games last year. Jeff was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and proceeded to join the organization following his four-year collegiate career at Union College, which included an NCAA National Championship. The Clifton Park, New York native has appeared in 50 career AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, tallying two goals, four assists, and six points. Taylor scored his first AHL goal on December 8th in a 3-1 home win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Lynch, 26, gets his first AHL opportunity of the season and the fourth of his professional career, after playing with the Portland Pirates, Springfield Thunderbirds, and Utica Comets during previous years. Zac is currently in the midst of his most productive professional season, as his 37 assists, 52 points, and 28 special teams points are all tops on the Nailers. On November 30th, the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania native notched his 50th career goal and his 100th career point, helping Wheeling to a 6-2 home win against Indy. Lynch dished out four assists on January 5th in Toledo, which was part of a stretch that saw him collect at least one point in 12 of 13 games.
Rauter, 24, goes to Manchester as part of the future considerations trade that originally brought Lynch to Wheeling during the summer. Alex debuted with the Atlanta Gladiators last season, accumulating three points in three games, before signing with the Nailers at the start of the 2018-19 campaign. The Chatham, New Jersey native appeared in 44 games with Wheeling, racking up ten goals, 24 assists, and 34 points. Two of Rauter's top games as a Nailer came within two weeks of each other, as he set a career high with four points at Kalamazoo on December 28th, then netted his first two-goal game on January 5th at Toledo.
The Nailers will continue their string of four straight road games on Thursday night, when they visit the Cincinnati Cyclones at 7:35. Wheeling's next home game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on March 2nd against the Cincinnati Cyclones. 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.