Nailers Sign Defenseman Cianfrini

WHEELING – The Wheeling Nailers announced Friday that they have signed their seventh player signing with defenseman Paul Cianfrini.

Cianfrini, 25, has played two full seasons of professional hockey, spending the entire 2013-14 campaign with the Nailers, along with the first 19 games of the 2012-13 season. Last year, Cianfrini showed his versatility by playing both defense and forward, which led him to a 16-point output and plus-14 rating in 66 regularpseason games.

During the playoffs, the Dundas, Ontario native added a pair of assists, while tallying 17 penalty minutes in 10 contests.

“Paul Cianfrini is a solid two-way defensemen, who also has the ability to play forward, is a great team player, does whatever he is asked, and plays hard every night,” coach Clark Donatelli said. “Last year, his teammates picked him as their Players Player Award winner, which means that his peers look up to him, as someone they can model themselves after.”

Cianfrini has also spent time with the Toledo Walleye and Trenton Titans during his pro career, notching two goals, 27 assists, and 29 points in 138 games. Prior to that, the 6-foot-1 blueliner played four seasons of junior hockey with the Belleville Bulls and Erie Otters, while also attending Nipissing University for two years. His most productive season offensively came in 2010-11 at Nipissing, when he registered five goals and 21 points in 28 games.

Last fall, Cianfrini attended training camp with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

“I wanted to come back to Wheeling, first of all for the great bunch of guys we had last year,” Cianfrini said. “I think we accomplished a lot, and want to build on that. I’ve been training really hard this summer, as I want to have a good start to the season.

”I had a great experience last year in Wheeling, the fans were great, and I enjoyed getting to know some personally.”