On Tuesday November 24th, the Wheeling Nailers announced the signing of Canadian right-winger Michael Joly. The two sides agreed to terms on a standard player contract for the upcoming season. Joly is a huge signing for the Nailers, who have put a pretty solid team together before announcing this signing of the forward.
Prior to signing with Wheeling, the forward had previous success with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and Colorado Eagles. During regular season play, the left-handed shooter tallied 64 goals along with 43 assists for 107 points. He did so in 81 games. During the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 2018, he racked up 13 goals along with 16 assists.
That made for 29 points, which as a result, saw him earn MVP honours. He has also had some AHL success, scoring 34 goals along with 34 assists. Between the Eagles, Wolf Pack and San Antonio Rampage, he tallied 68 points in 136 games. He made the jump to the AHL after the 2017-2018 season.
Joly, from Gatineau, Quebec, is the most recent 40+ goal scorer the ECHL has had. With Colorado in 2017-18, the 25-year-old recorded 41 goals. Following the signing of Joly, I have heard the Nailers had some tough calls to make, releasing Willy Smith as well as Alec Butcher.
With those moves, the Wheeling Nailers are currently comprised of 13 forwards; Matt Alfaro, Cody Bradley, Lawton Courtnall, Tyler Drevitch, Brad Drobot, Kevin Dufour, Andrew Gaus, Michael Joly and Sean Josling. This also includes Michael Pelech, Cody Sylvester, Luke Lynch and Alex Tonge. On defence, they have Drydn Dow, Marc-Olivier Duquette, Matt Miller, Matt Foley, Chad Duchesne, Shane Kuzmeski, Dane Birks and Dylan MacPherson. Wheeling is set to play their home opener on the 12th of December as they welcome the Indy Fuel.