On Friday October 23rd, the Wheeling Nailers announced the signing of American defensemen and rookie Matt Miller. The two sides agreed to terms on a standard player contract for the upcoming season. Miller is the younger brother of Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller.
Prior to signing his first pro contract, Miller played for the Youngstown Phantoms and Ohio State Buckeyes in the NCAA. With the Phantoms, he played with recent signee Tyler Drevitch and Yushiroh Hirano, whose status with the Nailers is currently unknown. During that time, he amassed 11 goals along with 22 assists which made for 33 points.
He did in 172 games before attending college at Ohio State. With the Buckeyes, he was much more successful, scoring 19 goals along with 45 assists. This made for 64 points which Miller collected in 119 games. In a statement from the left-handed shooter, he said upon signing his contract on Friday, “This is a dream come true for me to play this close to home, where everyone is within two hours. I believe I can fill whatever role I need to, and in college, I was able to adapt into a power play guy. My parents were really big Penguins fans, so being here is really special.”
As for the thoughts of Mark French, head coach of the Wheeling Nailers, he said of the team’s latest signing, “Matt played for a good program at Ohio State, where he was one of the top offensive defensemen in the Big Ten. He plays a well-rounded game and possesses and good shot that allows him to be an offensive threat from the blue-line.”
The Nailers roster is currently comprised of nine forwards; Cody Bradley, Alec Butcher, Tyler Drevitch, Brad Drobot, Kevin Dufour, Andrew Gaus, Luke Lynch, Will Smith and Michael Pelech. On defence, alongside Miller, they have Marc-Olivier Duquette, Chad Duchesne, Shane Kuzmeski, Dylan MacPherson and Kyle McKenzie.