WHEELING, WVA - The Wheeling Nailers
, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins
and Montreal Canadiens
are excited to announce a transaction for the upcoming season. Wheeling has signed defenseman Zach Hansen to a one-year ECHL contract.
"Zach is a smart player, who brings lots of speed and energy to our lineup," said head coach Clark Donatelli
. "He is very adept in pushing the play, which fits our team's style, and he plays with an edge in the defensive end of the ice," he said.
Hansen, 24, returns to the Nailers for his second full season of professional hockey, after finishing second on the team with 68 games played during the 2011-12 campaign. Prior to turning pro, Zach played one season of junior hockey with the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede
, on his way to attending Quinnipiac University, where he majored in Business Marketing and Entrepreneurship, while also playing hockey for four years. During his time with the Bobcats, the White Bear Lake, MN native amassed 14 goals, 53 assists, and 67 points in 146 games. At the end of the 2010-11 season, Hansen joined the Nailers, appearing in six regular season games, as well as three postseason contests, helping him to earn a spot on the following season's roster. This past season, Zach produced two goals, 22 assists, and 24 points, which placed him second in scoring among Wheeling defensemen.
"I am excited for the opportunity to come back to Wheeling," said Hansen. "It's also exciting to hear that a good group of last year's guys will be coming back, as well. Nailers fans should be excited for another memorable year," he said.