ECHL: Wheeling Nailers Announce 2024 Season-Ending Roster

Wheeling celebrates a goal in the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Photo by Stacey Gramlich | Inside The Rink

The Wheeling Nailers have released their 2024 season-ending roster following the announcement of their 2024-25 protected list. The Nailers’ roster comprises 18 players: 12 forwards, five defensemen, and one goalie.

Roster

Via Wheeling Nailers X Account

Forwards: Anthony Petruzzelli, Cal Kiefiuk, Cedric Desruisseaux, David Jankowski, Dustin Manz, Jared Westcott, Jordan Martel, Matt Koopman, Matthew Quercia, Mikael Robidoux, Peter Laviolette III, Tanner Laderoute

Defensemen: Aidan Sutter, Davis Bunz, David Drake, Louie Roehl, Tanner Vescio

Goaltender: Jaxon Castor

David Jankowski: Jankowski played four years at St. Lawrence University in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) from 2018-2022. He played 110 games for the Skating Saints where he tallied 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points. From there, he went on to Michigan Tech in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) for the 2022-23 season. He would appear in 28 games for the Huskies tallying four goals and five assists. Jankowski would sign with the Nailers at the end of his college career and showed signs of being a great player. He saw time in seven games to end the season, collecting three goals and three assists. He would return to the Nailers for the 2023-24 season and improved his game. In 69 regular season games, Jankowski collected 37 points (11g-26a). During the postseason, he played in seven games getting one goal and three assists.

Jordan Martel: Martel just finished his third season in the ECHL and first with the Nailers. Prior to turning pro, Martel played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar where he put up incredible numbers. He scored 98 goals and collected 106 assists in 253 games. From there, he went to the University of Quebec-Trois-Rivieres in USports. He played in 38 regular season games, tallying 20 goals and 14 assists. Following his two years at the University, Martel signed in the ECHL with the Fort Wayne Komets at the end of the 2021-22 season. He saw action in two games with the Komets collecting three points (2g-1a). Martel has played 121 regular season games in the ECHL between the Komets, Utah Grizzlies, and Nailers tallying 55 goals and 56 assists. Martel was a pivotal part in the Nailers making it to the 2024 Kelly Cup Playoffs. He joined the team from the Grizzlies after 16 games, where he tallied six goals and five assists. He broke out in goal-scoring with the Nailers as he scored a career-high 29 goals in 45 games. He is going to be one of the key players to watch have an even bigger impact next season.

Jaxon Castor: Castor has not been able to find a landing spot since joining the ECHL during the 2022-23 season when he signed an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Florida Everblades. He appeared in two games with the Everblades posting a 2.07 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. Castor signed a Player Tryout Contract with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL that same year, but would not see any game action. At the start of the 2023-24 season, Castor signed a Standard Player Contract (SPC) with the Atlanta Gladiators. He would then be traded back to the Everblades. He would not see time between the pipes for either club. Castor would then end up finding a home in Wheeling as Castor was dealt to the Nailers from the Everblades. Castor appeared in 16 games for the Nailers going 10-4-1 with most of those games coming at the end of the season as Taylor Gauthier was recalled to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL. Castor put up a 2.71 GAA and a .899 SV% during the regular season. Should Castor sign with the Nailers, he is going to have a bigger role taking that starting job. Not finding a stable spot in the ECHL, I expect Castor to take the starter spot and run with it. He has shown what he is capable of between the regular season and the postseason.

ECHL Season-Ending Roster Guidelines

Season-Ending Rosters may include up to 20 players. Season-Ending Rosters cannot include any players who did not sign an ECHL contract in 2023-24.

Each team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on July 7. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2023-24 Season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to July 7.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until 11:59 p.m. ET on July 22 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until 11:59 p.m. ET on July 22. After July 22, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran or goaltender shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by 11:59 p.m. ET on August 8, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

Zachary Alvarado

Inside The Rink journalist covering the Wheeling Nailers and Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL. I am a Duquesne University Sports Information and Media major graduating in December. I have been passionate about hockey since I was 4 years old.

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