WHEELING - The Wheeling Nailers have signed forward Ryan Flanigan to an ECHL contract.
"Ryan is a well-rounded player, who has a lot of speed, and uses it effectively in all three zones," Nailers coach Clark Donatelli said. "I believe that he is a strong candidate to get to the AHL, coming from a notable program at Merrimack College, where Mark Dennehy has produced a lot of professional players."
Flanigan, 25, is coming off of his first full season of professional hockey, which he split between the Greenville Road Warriors and CHL's Wichita Thunder. After a brief two-game stint in Greenville to start the year, Flanigan took his talents to Wichita, where he was able to total four goals, 11 assists, and 15 points in 29 games. In late January, he returned to the Road Warriors, and proceeded to take off immediately, recording at least one point in six of his first 10 games.
"I like to consider myself as a versatile, two-way forward," Flanigan said. "I can put points up, and play well on both ends of the ice, but I am more of an all-around player."
The Rochester, N.Y. native began his path to the pros with the EJHL's Bay State Breakers, where he totaled 58 points in 81 games in two seasons, before advancing to the NCAA and Merrimack College. Flanigan spent four years with the Warriors, appearing in 131 games, scoring 34 goals, 45 assists, and 79 points, while also getting his work done in the classroom, majoring in Business Administration. Flanigan's performance at Merrimack earned him four games with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs at the conclusion of the 2011-12 season, in which he accumulated one goal and one assist.
"I was looking for a good opportunity, and Clark Donatelli has a great reputation of putting players in the AHL, while continuing to develop all of his players," Flanigan said. "I heard all good things from my college teammates, Chris Barton and Adam Ross, and I am looking forward to building on what I learned last year, into what I need to do this year."
The Nailers drop the puck on the 2013-14 regular season against the Elmira Jackals, on at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18.