WHEELING, WV – The Wheeling Nailers have announced six more additions to their roster bringing the total of signed players to nine. Three of the players return from last year’s team, two played in the ECHL last year for two teams, and the other spent last season in the SPHL.
Player announcement number four was Jeremy Beirnes. The 29-year-old forward spent the past two seasons with the Huntsville Havoc and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs. In those two seasons, he tallied eight goals and four assists for 12 points and amassed 359 penalty minutes. In 2015-16, he led the SPHL with 275 penalty minutes while playing for Huntsville. Of those minutes, 150 came from 30 fighting majors, which also led the league. In his professional career, Beirnes has proven to be a physical style player, having accumulated 46 fighting majors across three seasons in the SPHL.
After appearing in 13 games for Huntsville in 2009-10, Jeremy attended the University of Alberta-Augustana for five years. While there the Edson, Alberta native scored 21 goals and 11 assists for 32 points while picking up 526 penalty minutes in 77 games for the Vikings.
The fourth player from the 2013-17 team to return to Wheeling, in his second stint with the team, is Alexandre Carrier. The 26-year-old forward played in 17 games last season where he lit the lamp once while collecting four assists for five points and 21 penalty minutes. Wheeling was also the third team he played for in 2016-17, after starting the season in Utah and playing in Orlando before suiting up for the black and Vegas gold. In six professional seasons, Carrier had played in three different leagues (AHL, ECHL, and SPHL) so moving around was nothing new for the veteran.
Carrier also played in 141 games for the Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL. While with the Foreurs, the St-Elzear-de-Beauce, Quebec native picked up eight goals, 20 assists for 28 points and 231 penalty minutes. He also played ten games for Salzberg EC in Austria in 2011-12.
The sixth player to sign for 2017-18 is another returning defenseman from last year’s team, Ross McMullan. In his rookie year, Ross was named the Community Award Winner for his efforts around the Ohio Valley. As a part of Nailers Fight Cancer Month in March, Ross allowed his teammates to shave his head for St Baldrick’s Foundation.
On the ice, the now 25-year-old appeared in 46 games. McMullan made Wheeling debut in Cincinnati on October 22, he collected his first two professional points against Utah on December 3, as part of a 4-1 triumph for Wheeling. In all, McMullan finished the season with three goals and six assists for nine points and picked up 42 penalty minutes along the way. McMullan was also a plus-4, ranking tied for second among the Nailers defensive corps.
Before joining the Wheel, McMullan played 38 games for St Lawrence University, while majoring in Economics and Spanish. In those games, he lit the lamp once and pitched in three helpers for four points. He also played three seasons in junior hockey.
Johnny Daniels is the seventh name added to the Nailers roster for 2017-18. Daniels is the curator of the greatest single game highlight of the 2016-17 season, a hat-trick that during a 57-second span of the second period of the March 11 victory over the Quad City Mallards. At 11:01 of the frame Daniels lit the lamp on a power play marker to give Wheeling a 2-1 lead. At 11:37 he would find the twine again this time at even strength to give Wheeling a 3-1 lead. He would complete the natural hat trick just 20 seconds later as he scored his fifth goal of the season. Amazingly, this was the second fastest natural hat trick in team history. Darren Schwartz holds the team and ECHL record in that arena, scoring his three goals in just 30 seconds in 1992.
Daniels would finish the season with six goals and four assists for 10 points in 25 games. Daniels had also played three games for the Atlanta Gladiators in December as well. Before sticking in the ECHL with Wheeling, Johnny had a successful run in the SPHL. In his 80-game stint down south, the 24-year-old forward scored 34 goals along with 32 helpers for 66 points. While pursuing an Engineering major at St Anselm College, the Andover, Massachusetts native played four years of college hockey before turning pro. In 91 games for the Hawks, Daniels collected 38 goals and 47 assists for 85 points.
Player signing number eight, is the second of the three newcomers to the group, is French-born defenseman Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel. The veteran defenseman comes to Wheeling carrying eight years of North American hockey experience in the AHL, ECHL, and CHL. Last year with Elmira and Missouri, the 30-year-old appeared in a total of 65 games in which he scored two goals and nine assists for 11 points and picked up 92 penalty minutes.
The Bordeaux, France native spent six seasons playing in France before beginning his North American professional career. He spent time with three different teams, most of the time spent in Amiens. He also saw action for Morzine-Avoriaz and Chamonix. Benjamin also represented France in international competition as well playing in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Championships, where he was teammates with NHL players Antoine Roussel and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
Another defenseman and the ninth overall signing of the offseason for Wheeling is Jake Bolton. The second-year defenseman comes to Wheeling after spending his rookie season with the Atlanta Gladiators and Wichita Thunder. Jake played four years at Holy Cross University, where he majored in Philosophy. During his time with the Crusaders, he appeared in 145 games scoring 11 goals and picking up 43 helpers for a total of 54 points.
The Ellington, Connecticut native made his pro debut on March 18, 2016, with the Atlanta Gladiators against Greenville. Bolton scored his first professional goal March 29 of that same year against South Carolina. He returned to Atlanta to start the 2016-17 campaign but was traded to Wichita in January 2017. He finished his rookie season with two goals and ten assists for 12 points in 55 games.
To keep up with your favorite team’s signings, be sure to visit the 2017 ECHL Transactions page!
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