WHEELING - The Wheeling Nailers, ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, announced Friday they have signed their fifth player of the 2014 offseason, re-signing forward Derek Army.
Army, 23, joined the Nailers at the end of the 2013-14 season, making his professional debut April 4th, following a four-year collegiate career at Providence.
Despite appearing in only four regular season games and three playoff contests, Army made an immediate impact offensively, as he collected three goals and four points. The North Kingstown, RI native netted his first pro goal on April 11th in Cincinnati, before tallying two more goals the following night, also on the road against the Cyclones.
"Derek Army came n at the end of last year, and was a big part of our run into the playoffs,"Nailers head coach Clark Donatelli said. "He can play both center and wing, and is a solid two-way forward, who produces goals and creates offense. He has progressed well from when I had him as a freshman in college, and I am looking forward to helping him develop in the pro game," he said.
During his time with the Friars, Army played in 149 games, accumulating 38 goals, 38 assists, and 76 points. His most productive season came as a junior in 2012-13, when he finished second on the team with 23 points, while leading the way with 13 goals. The following year, Providence College experienced its best season in recent memory, as it reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001. The Friars took down Quinnipiac in the opening round, before falling to eventual champion Union in round two.
As a freshman in 2010-11, Army was teammates with six current or former Nailers :Ben Farrer, Matt Germain, Myles Harvey, Chris Rooney, and Alex Velischek. In addition, Clark Donatelli served as an assistant coach at Providence.n.
"Even though I was only in Wheeling for a short time last season, I quickly noticed that there was a good bond with the guys on the team, and that it would be a good fit for me," Army said. "There are a lot of roles to fill, so I will do whatever I can to help the team win. I loved playing for Clark Donatelli at Providence, because he is very supportive, he knows the game, and he is someone that you want to go to battle for," he said.
Army and the Wheeling Nailers will open the 2014-15 regular season on Saturday, October 18th at 7:35, when they host the Reading Royals. Season tickets are available, starting as low as $10 for adults and $8 for children. For tickets and more information, call (304) 234-GOAL.