WHEELING, WV – The Wheeling Nailers announced today the hiring of Riley Armstrong as their new assistant coach.
Armstrong, 31, recently completed a 12-year professional playing career this past season, when he appeared in 26 games with the Reading Royals. During his final campaign, Riley accumulated four goals and 12 points, raising his career totals in North America to 109 goals, 116 assists, and 225 points in 481 games.
In addition to his time with the Royals, the veteran forward also suited up with the Elmira Jackals and Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL, as well as six different squads in the American Hockey League.
The high point of the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native’s career came during the 2008-09 season, when he lit the lamp 25 times with the Worcester Sharks, and also earned the opportunity to play in two NHL games with the San Jose Sharks. Armstrong also played parts of four seasons in Europe in five different leagues.
“Riley Armstrong brings us lots of knowledge from his time playing, and he knows the league well, after playing with Reading last year,” said Nailers Head Coach Jeff Christian. “Riley is great in the community, and in working with the Penguins, we believe that he is the best fit for us as a team and as an organization.”
As a member of the Royals in 2015-16, Armstrong had the opportunity to play under Larry Courville, who led Reading to a Kelly Cup Championship in 2012-13. Other notable coaches that Riley has played for include former Nailers Head Coach Pat Bingham, former Atlanta Thrashers Head Coach Curt Fraser, former Calgary Flames Head Coach Jim Playfair, and Roy Sommer, who has the most head coaching wins in AHL history. Armstrong also has ties to the sport in his family, as his older brother Colby played in 476 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadiens.
“I couldn’t be more excited to start my coaching career with the Nailers,” Armstrong said. “When I played, the games in Wheeling were always awesome, and the renovations to the building look fantastic. From the time I was about 25 or 26, I knew that coaching was something I wanted to do, so since then, I took notes about coaches I had, and developed the type of coach that I wanted to be.”