WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their first player signing of the 2023 offseason. Wheeling has re-signed forward Peter Laviolette III to an ECHL contract.
Laviolette, 25, played his first professional season with the Nailers in 2022-23, and the Wheeling, West Virginia native hit things off immediately with the fans. Peter won the Project BEST Community Award, as he led the team with 12 community appearances. On the ice, Laviolette contributed five goals, six assists, and 11 points, while playing a physical style, which led to him finishing second on the club with 96 penalty minutes in 38 games. The forward's first career goal was definitely one to remember. The Nailers trailed the Reading Royals 5-3 after two periods in the annual New Year's Eve Game. Peter's goal at the 3:31 mark of the third lifted the roof off of WesBanco Arena and kickstarted a 6-5 victory for the home squad. Laviolette notched a pair of multi-goal games in March, and finished the campaign with points in five of eight contests.
"Peter is exactly what we want a Nailer to be," said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. "He plays hard, he loves this community, and he brings energy every day. We are excited to have him back!"
Prior to turning pro, Peter played five years of college hockey at Plymouth State University, where he majored in Sport Management/Business Administration. During his time with the Panthers, Laviolette accumulated 35 goals, 32 assists, and 67 points in 105 games. His best collegiate season came in 2021-22, when he finished third on the team in scoring with nearly one point per game (26 points in 27 games). Plymouth State won the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament three times and the regular season championship four times with Peter on the squad. Laviolette III is one of three Wheeling natives to ever play for the Nailers, and he is the son of former Nailers Head Coach and Wheeling Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Laviolette Jr., who was recently named head coach of the NHL's New York Rangers.
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.