On Wednesday November 18th, the Wheeling Nailers announced the signings of defensemen Dane Birks as well as Matt Foley. Both parties agreed to terms on standard player contracts for the upcoming season.
Birks makes his return to the Nailers, where he began his career on an entry-level contract. During his rookie season with the hockey club, the righty racked up one goal along with 13 assists which made for 14 points. He was traded to the Arizona Coyotes and spent 2019-20 with the Rapid City Rush.
During his time away from the Nailers, the American tallied 10 points, having scored three goals along with seven assists. Birks will be a solid defensive defensemen and is known to be a player who isn’t afraid to get physical.
Foley will make his pro debut in Wheeling after playing college hockey at Yale University. He did so with current Nailers forward Andrew Gaus. During his four years with the Bulldogs, the blue liner racked up two goals along with 16 assists which made for 18 points. Looking at his statistics, I believe he will be another defensive defensemen.
Wheeling’s roster is currently comprised of thirteen forwards; Matt Alfaro, Cody Bradley, Alec Butcher, Tyler Drevitch, Brad Drobot, Kevin Dufour, Andrew Gaus, Sean Josling and Luke Lynch. This also includes Michael Pelech, Cody Sylvester and Will Smith. 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.