The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced a transaction, which takes effect immediately. Wheeling has acquired defensemen Jake Areshenko and Ryan Blair from the Orlando Solar Bears, in exchange for future considerations.
Areshenko, 25, enters his first full season of professional hockey, after appearing in three regular season games and three postseason contests with the South Carolina Stingrays at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. Prior to making the jump to the pro game, Jake attended Bemidji State University, where he majored in Business Administration, while also playing hockey for four years. While with the Beavers, the Port Coquitlam, BC native appeared in 144 games, totaling four goals, 20 assists, 24 points, and 156 penalty minutes. Areshenko played his junior hockey in both the USHL and BCHL.
“Jake is a rookie defenseman, who I believe will add some toughness and physical play to our blueline,” said Head Coach Clark Donatelli.
Blair, 27, is entering his third season in the ECHL, after spending the entire 2012-13 campaign with the Solar Bears, accumulating three goals, 12 assists, and 15 points in 56 games. Ryan also appeared in 56 games during the 2011-12 season, splitting the year between the Cincinnati Cyclones, Toledo Walleye, and Reading Royals. Prior to turning pro, the Ashburn, VA native attended the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where he recorded three goals, 33 assists, and 36 points in 141 games.
“Ryan is a big defenseman, who brings two years of ECHL experience to our team, and will be able to play lots of valuable minutes,” Donatelli said.
Areshenko and Blair will join the Nailers in time for Friday’s season opener at 7:00 against the Elmira Jackals at WesBanco Arena