WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their seventh player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Matt Koopman to an ECHL contract.
Koopman, 25, joined the Nailers in March for his pro debut, following the completion of his collegiate career. Matt appeared in 14 games for Wheeling, which was the highest total among players who came out of college this past year. He notched one goal, six assists, and seven points, and fired at least one shot on goal in 13 of his 14 tilts. Koopman registered his first professional point with an assist on Jordan Frasca's tying goal in a 4-3 overtime win at Norfolk on March 17th, then lit the lamp for the first time in a 4-3 home victory over Fort Wayne on April 8th. That goal also gave Matt a five-game point streak.
"Matt is a player who came out of college and played very well for us," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He can really skate, gets in on the forecheck, and is a great penalty killer. He also contributed offensively, and did a nice job of making the adjustment to the pro game."
Prior to turning pro, the Marblehead, Massachusetts native played five seasons of college hockey, as he attended Providence College for four years, then transferred to UMass-Amherst. Koopman suited up in 148 career NCAA matches and produced 20 goals, 21 assists, and 41 points. His most productive season was his final year at Providence, when he finished with 12 points. Two years earlier, Matt tied for fourth on the Friars with a +11 rating. Koopman was teammates with current Nailers defenseman Davis Bunz during all four of his seasons at PC.
Matt Koopman and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, October 21st. The team's home opener is Saturday, November 4th against the Reading Royals at 7:10. Season memberships and other terrific ticket plans for the 2023-24 season are available now by calling (304) 234-GOAL. 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.