Nailers Sign Three More Players
WHEELING — The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce three more player signings, which brings their total to 11 for the 2022-23 season. Wheeling has signed forwards Cedric Desruisseaux and Max Johnson, as well as defenseman Louie Roehl.
Desruisseaux, 22, came to the Nailers late last season, when he was loaned to Wheeling by the AHL’s Laval Rocket, after spending most of the year with the Trois-Rivieres Lions. Cedric posted points in four of his first five games with the Nailers, which included a three-point performance on April 6 at Iowa. The Warwick, Quebec native finished his rookie campaign with nine goals, 21 assists, and 30 points in 50 ECHL games, and also appeared in three matches with Laval, in which he collected one goal and one assist. Prior to turning pro, Desruisseaux played five seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Victoriaville, Drummondville, and Charlottetown.
Johnson, 24, is a new member of the Nailers, as he gets ready to begin his pro career. Max played five seasons of college hockey, as he attended Bowling Green State University for four years, then transferred to the University of Wisconsin for his final year. The Lakeville, Minnesota native was nearly a point-per-game player during his time with the Falcons, as he racked up 48 goals, 74 assists, and 122 points in 143 games at BGSU. His best season came during his sophomore year, when he led Bowling Green with 19 goals, 24 assists, and 43 points in 41 games. Johnson was teammates with Adam Smith for two seasons in college, and was teammates with Matthew Quercia, when the two played for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. Max was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team in 2017-18, and was a member of the WCHA All-Academic Team three times.
“Max put up elite offensive numbers at Bowling Green,” Army said. “He has a high hockey IQ and compete level, we are very excited to have him in the organization, and I am looking forward to working with him.”
Roehl, 24, is also making the jump from the college game to the pros, as he signs his first contract with the Nailers. Louie played five seasons of college hockey, all for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Primarily a defensive defenseman, Roehl finished his collegiate career with a +28 rating, as he was a plus player in four of five seasons. Offensively, the Eden Prairie, Minnesota native recorded seven goals, 22 assists, and 29 points in 180 games. Louie and the Bulldogs reached the Frozen Four four times, and won the National Championship in 2017 and 2018. His assistant coach for the last four seasons was former Nailers forward Adam Krause, who was teammates with Derek Army for parts of three seasons.
“Louie comes from a winning program at Minnesota-Duluth, and Adam Krause spoke very highly of him as his assistant coach,” said Army. “He is willing to do the hard things that win games, and he can play against other teams’ best lines.”
The Wheeling Nailers will begin their 31st season on Saturday, Oct. 22, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:10 p.m.