Nailers Sign Cianfrini

WHEELING – The Wheeling Nailers have announced their 12th player signing of the 2013 offseason in defenseman Paul Cianfrini to an ECHL contract.

“Paul is a very good skater, who retrieves the puck well, and is strong at making the first play, when coming out of the defensive zone,” Nailers coach Clark Donatelli said. “He makes good decisions, plays a simple game, and is always looking to make himself a better player.”

Cianfrini, 24, completed his first full season of professional hockey during the 2012-13 campaign, as he played in 19 games with the Nailers, before being dealt to the Trenton Titans for his final 36 games of the year. Cianfrini’s success in Wheeling came quickly, as he racked up a pair of two-point games during the team’s home-opening weekend, en route to six points in a Wheeling uniform. He then added five points with the Titans giving him 11 total in 55 games.

The Dundas, ON native began his path to the pros in his home province, as he spent parts of two seasons with the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, which included a trip to the 2007 Eastern Conference Final. During the 2007-08 season, Cianfrini was traded to the Erie Otters, where he completed his junior hockey career with overall totals of nine goals, 46 assists, and 55 points in 252 games. Cianfrini then spent six games under Stan Drulia’s tutelage with the IHL’s Port Huron Icehawks, before attending Nipissing University for two years.

After finishing with 36 points in 53 games during the course of his two seasons at Nipissing University, Cianfrini made his professional debut with the Toledo Walleye on Feb. 24, 2012, in the first of two straight games against Wheeling. In 17 games with Toledo, Cianfrini notched one goal and one assist, with both milestones coming against the Kalamazoo Wings.

The Nailers will drop the puck on the 2013-14 regular season at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 against the Elmira Jackals.