Payerl Becomes 48th Former Nailer to Reach NHL

WHEELING – The record 48th former Wheeling Nailer/Thunderbird has made it to the NHL. Adam Payerl reached the NHL on Sunday night, as the Penguins visited the Colorado Avalanche.

Payerl, 23, is in the midst of his second full season of professional hockey, after spending five years in the Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts and Belleville Bulls. During the 2012-13 season, Adam appeared in four games with the Nailers, notching one goal and 15 penalty minutes, with the tally taking place in a 5-4 shootout victory against Reading on Jan. 11. Although it doesn’t count toward his totals, Payerl scored the winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout.

Prior to Sunday night, the Kitchener, ON, native had spent the remainder of his pro career with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In 74 career regular-season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Payerl has recorded six goals, 14 assists, 20 points, and 90 penalty minutes. Last spring, Payerl suited up in 15 playoff contests with the Penguins, accumulating two goals, three points, and 13 penalty minutes, as the team reached the Eastern Conference Final.

Sunday, Payerl logged 9:33 of ice time, receiving 16 shifts, while recording two penalty minutes, three shots, and four hits, as Pittsburgh defeated Colorado, 3-2 in a shootout.

Payerl is the fourth this Former Nailer to make the show this season, joining Zach Sill, Alex Grant, and Philip Samuelsson. In total, there have been 13 former Wheeling players that have appeared in at least one NHL game this season.

Canadiens Assign Fournier to Nailers

WHEELING – Montreal has assigned forward Stefan Fournier to Wheeling from the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Fournier, 21, is currently in his first season of professional hockey, following a five-year career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Acadie-Bathurst, Lewiston, Victoriaville, and Halifax. During his final season, Fournier, who served as the one of the team’s co-captains, set career highs with 35 goals and 72 points, while the Mooseheads captured the President Cup and Memorial Cup. In 17 playoff games, he registered 16 goals and 29 points.

During the course of his five years in the QMJHL, the Dorval, QC, native racked up 101 goals, 111 assists, and 212 points. In his first season with Hamilton, Fournier has tallied two goals, five assists, and seven points in 40 games. The forward also appeared in one preseason game with the Montreal Canadiens.

Fournier is expected to be in the lineup this weekend, when the Nailers visit the Cincinnati Cyclones on Friday and Saturday, both at 7:35 p.m. Wheeling’s next home game will take place at 7 on Wednesday night, April 23, in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.