Nailers Ink Four Returning Players
WHEELING, WV — The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their first four player signings of the 2022 offseason – all of whom are returning players from the 2021-22 campaign. Wheeling has re-signed forwards Cam Hausinger, Sean Josling, and Matthew Quercia, as well as defenseman David Drake.
Hausinger, 23, had a terrific rookie season with the Nailers, as he finished tied for fifth on the team in scoring with 21 goals, 22 assists, and 43 points in 64 games. A few highlights from Cam’s first campaign in Wheeling included his first pro goal on October 27th at Iowa, his first career hat trick on December 11th against Cincinnati, and a two-goal effort in his first head-to-head game against his brother Kenny on February 19th at Reading. The Anchorage, Alaska native was a key contributor down the stretch, as he netted back-to-back game winning goals, to help the Nailers clinch their first playoff berth since 2016. Hausinger took his game to another level in the postseason, as he led the way with nine goals in ten games, including a hat trick as part of a seven-goal performance in the opening round triumph over Fort Wayne. Prior to turning pro, Cam played five seasons of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League with Saskatoon, Red Deer, and Kootenay.
“Cam is the ultimate Nailer – an all-heart player, which is very reflective of our culture,” Army said.
“He played through a lot to lead us in playoff scoring, and we’re looking forward to another big season out of him.”
Josling, 23, is coming off his second season with the Nailers, and he saw his numbers improve greatly, as he produced at nearly a point-per-game clip with 14 goals, 19 assists, and 33 points in 36 games. After tallying six points in the club’s first four games, Sean earned his first AHL opportunity, as he was signed to a professional tryout by the San Diego Gulls, with whom he collected one goal and one assist in 15 games. The Toronto, Ontario native returned to Wheeling at the beginning of February, and proceeded to pick up right where he left off, as he produced points in 11 of 13 games, while the team went 9-4-0. Josling carried his regular season success into the playoffs, as he added three goals and one assist. He scored the winning goal in game two against Fort Wayne, then tallied a goal and an assist in the game seven victory. Prior to turning pro, Sean played four seasons of junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting.
“Sean is a young player with a lot of potential, and it was good to see him get a look in the AHL this season,” said Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. “I am excited to have him back to help us continue that push, as he has lots of tools that make him a great Nailer.”
Quercia, 23, joined the Nailers in February, after completing his collegiate career at Michigan Tech University. He made his pro debut on February 22nd against Reading, recorded his first career point with an assist on March 9th against Toledo, then scored his first professional goal on March 30th at Fort Wayne, en route to season totals of three goals, four assists, and seven points in 19 regular season games. Matthew’s biggest moment in the early stages of his Wheeling career came during the playoffs, when he netted the winning goal in overtime of game seven to defeat the Komets at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. That marker was part of a two-goal, two-assist contribution in the postseason. In addition to his year at Michigan Tech, the Andover, Massachusetts native attended Boston University for three years.
“Matthew came in during the year, and his role increased as he started getting comfortable and confident with the pro game,” said Army. “He was a big piece to our third line last season down the stretch, and he will always be remembered for scoring the overtime goal in Fort Wayne.”
Drake, 27, has played three full seasons as a pro, mostly in the ECHL. The Nailers acquired David from the Reading Royals in a January trade, and he went on to play in 40 regular season games and 11 playoff contests with the team. Known predominantly for his defensive prowess, the Naperville, Illinois native finished the 2021-22 campaign with nine assists and a +3 rating. Drake also earned two AHL opportunities, as he appeared in five games with the Rochester Americans and Providence Bruins. Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2013, David attended the University of Connecticut for four years, before making his pro debut with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the spring of 2018. He has played in 190 career pro games.
“We traded for David in the middle of the season, and he was a major reason we had the success we did when we had players called up to the AHL,” said Army. “He steadies the ship for us, and he is especially strong on the penalty kill.”
The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, October 22nd, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10. Season memberships are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or calling (304) 234-GOAL.