Nailers Sign Gritty Defenseman Miller

WHEELING – The Wheeling Nailers have announced their eighth player signing of the 2013 offseason in defenseman Ryley Miller to an ECHL contract.

“Ryley is a solid defenseman, who plays with an edge, and will bring some grit to our lineup,” Coach Clark Donatelli said. “He is going into his rookie season, and I am looking forward to working with him, as he makes the jump from the junior game to the professional game.”

Miller, 20, joins the Nailers after spending each of the last five seasons with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, while also suiting up with the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings and AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints.

During his time with Brandon, Ryley appeared in 241 games, tallying eight goals, 29 assists, and 37 points. However, his most notable statistic resided in the fifth column, as he racked up 537 penalty minutes, including 56 fighting majors.

The blueliner either held or tied for the team lead in fighting majors in three of his five seasons with the Wheat Kings.

“I like to play a little bit rough,” Miller said. “I view myself as a defensive defenseman, who will fight every now and then.”

In addition to his individual accolades, the Spruce Grove, AB native has also been around a significant amount of team success within the last five seasons.

The Brandon Wheat Kings reached the WHL’s Eastern Conference Final in 2009 and 2010, while also reaching the final game as the host team in the 2010 Mastercard Memorial Cup.

This past season, the Dauphin Kings reached the championship round in the quest for the MJHL’s Turnbull Cup.

“Wheeling seemed to be the right fit, and the best place for me to go,” Miller said. “I am looking forward to getting used to the city, seeing what it’s like, and also getting ready to play again.”

Opening night is now less than two months away, as the 2013-14 Wheeling Nailers will begin the regular season at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18 against the Elmira Jackals.