WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are pleased to announce their roster and captains for the 2019-20 season. The roster consists of 23 players - 13 forwards, seven defensemen, and three goaltenders.
Friday began with the selections of the team captains. The captain is forward Nick Saracino, who wears the "C" for the second straight season in Wheeling. Saracino amassed 37 points in 27 games with the Nailers last year, before joining the AHL's Binghamton Devils after the holidays. One of the alternate captains is forward Cam Brown, who returns for his third season in Wheeling, after racking up 90 points in his first 90 career games as a Nailer. Another alternate captain is forward Myles Powell. This is Powell's first season in Wheeling and second as a pro, after being named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team with Cincinnati last year.
Joining those three players at forward are two of last year's top three scorers - Yushiroh Hirano and Renars Krastenbergs, who combined to rack up 38 goals and 101 points in their rookie campaigns. A few other returning faces up front include Alec Butcher (12 goals in 36 games), Lucas Kohls (1 goal in 5 games), and Brad Drobot (70 penalty minutes in 43 games). There are also some new exciting names that fans should watch for, including former Pittsburgh Penguins Draft Pick Jan Drozg, Brandon Hawkins, who scored five goals in two preseason games, second-year forward Ryan Scarfo, rookie Christopher Brown, and third-year pro Willy Smith.
On defense, Macoy Erkamps and Blake Siebenaler are the two most experienced players, as both begin their fourth professional seasons, with both having played over 80 games in the AHL. Aaron Titcomb and Craig Skudalski both return after solid rookie campaigns, while Jake Schultz and Jack Macnee both spent time in Wheeling during the latter part of the year. There is also one brand new face on the blueline, as the Nailers acquired Steve Johnson from the South Carolina Stingrays in exchange for future considerations. Johnson split his ECHL time with Reading and South Carolina last season, while also getting a taste of the AHL with the Hershey Bears.
Between the pipes, Wheeling gets things started with three netminders. Jordan Ruby returns to the team, after leading last year's squad with 12 victories. He will be joined by Andrew D'Agostini, who has won 27 games in his ECHL career, in addition to Pittsburgh Penguins signee Alex D'Orio, who begins his pro career after three seasons in the QMJHL.
Mike Bavis returns for his second season as head coach, and will be joined by Gene Reilly, who begins his first season with the Nailers. Wheeling native Bill Higgins enters his 17th season as the club's equipment manager, and will be joined by fellow Wheeling native Daniel Barker, who begins his career as athletic trainer. DJ Abisalih is on the call for his ninth season as the Voice of the Nailers, starting with Saturday's opening game in Cincinnati.
The Wheeling Nailers will begin the regular season on Saturday, October 12th, when they visit the Cincinnati Cyclones. The home opener is one week later on Saturday, October 19th, when the Indy Fuel visit WesBanco Arena at 7:05. Season tickets, partial plans, and group tickets are available now. 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, partial plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.
2019-20 Wheeling Nailers Roster#3-D-Aaron Titcomb#4-D-Jake Schultz#5-D-Jack Macnee#7-F-Brandon Hawkins#8-D-Blake Siebenaler#9-F-Yushiroh Hirano#10-F-Lucas Kohls#11-F-Alec Butcher#12-F-Renars Krastenbergs#13-F-Nick Saracino#14-F-Willy Smith#16-D-Craig Skudalski#19-F-Myles Powell#20-D-Steve Johnson#21-F-Cam Brown#22-F-Jan Drozg#24-D-Macoy Erkamps#25-F-Brad Drobot#27-F-Christopher Brown#30-G-Jordan Ruby#31-G-Andrew D'Agostini#33-G-Alex D'Orio#36-F-Ryan Scarfo