On Tuesday November 3rd, the Wheeling Nailers announced the signing of Canadian centreman Matt Alfaro. The two sides agreed to terms on a standard player contract for the upcoming season. With Alfaro signed, he becomes the team’s 18th signing of the offseason.
Alfaro makes the jump to pro hockey after playing three seasons with the Calgary Dinos. Attending the University of Calgary, Alfaro scored 24 goals along with 44 assists which made for 68 points. He did so in 78 games.
Prior to joining the Dinos, the forward also spanned four seasons playing junior hockey in the Western Hockey League. During those four years, he was apart of two teams, those being the Kootenay Ice and the Lethbridge Hurricanes. His best season came while playing in Lethbridge, scoring 25 goals along with 35 assists.
That saw him tally 60 points, a total he compiled in 61 games played. The same season, Alfaro also reached the WHL Conference Final round. Joining the Wheeling Nailers, Alfaro is familiar with head coach, Mark French. Speaking of which, the left-handed shooter said on Tuesday after signing, “Wheeling is a great opportunity, as they are consistent in getting players moved up, there’s a great relationship with the ownership and the city, and for me, Mark French coached against me in the WHL. I see myself as a two-way centreman, who chips in offensively, but can also play lots of different roles up and down the lineup.”
As for the thoughts of Mark French, he said on Tuesday of the team’s latest signing, “Matt is coming off a strong season at the University level. He possesses good size and skill, and is also known as a strong competitor who plays with an edge.”
Wheeling’s roster is currently comprised of ten forwards; Matt Alfaro, Cody Bradley, Alec Butcher, Tyler Drevitch, Brad Drobot, Kevin Dufour, Andrew Gaus, Luke Lynch, Will Smith and Michael Pelech. On defence, they have Drydn Dow, Marc-Olivier Duquette, Matt Miller, Chad Duchesne, Shane Kuzmeski and Dylan MacPherson. During an interview last week between D.J. Abisilah and Mark French it was announced Kyle McKenzie has decided to retire.