The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that forwards Denver Manderson and Cody Sylvester and defenseman Dustin Stevenson have been recalled from the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. In addition, the Pittsburgh Penguins have assigned goaltender Eric Hartzell to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from Wheeling.
After being limited to one game with Wheeling last season due to injury, Manderson has opened up 2013-14 with two goals, seven assists and four penalty minutes in 12 contests. His point total (9) ranks third on the Nailers and he is also second in assists. In 2011-12 during first professional season, Manderson finished tied for fourth on Wheeling with 40 points (18G-22A) in 52 games.
Sylvester currently leads the Nailers with five goals, while also registering an assist and six penalty minutes in 12 games. The 21-year old rookie spent last year with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, where he ranked first on the squad in goals (41), assists (49) and points (90). In five seasons with Calgary, Sylvester totaled 229 points (97G-132A) and 270 penalty minutes over 315 games.
Stevenson, 23, has posted a team-best +9 plus/minus rating and also contributed five assists in just nine games for Wheeling. Last season, the fourth-year pro took home the Kelly Cup with the Reading Royals (ECHL), finishing fourth among all defensemen with nine points (1G-8A) in 22 playoff games. Stevenson has totaled three goals, 31 assists and 277 PIM in 209 ECHL contests with South Carolina, Reading and Wheeling.
Hartzell, 23, has begun his pro career by posting a 2-2-1 record, 2.58 goals against average and .922 save percentage in five games for the Nailers. He recorded his first pro shutout on Nov. 14, making 37 saves in a 1-0 win over Elmira. Hartzell was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award last season and named USA Hockey College Player of the Year after going 30-7-5 in 42 starts for Quinnipiac with a 1.57 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. He helped the Bobcats reach the NCAA championship game after leading Quinnipiac to the school’s first-ever Frozen Four appearance.
In a separate transaction, goaltender Peter Mannino has been returned on loan to the Wheeling Nailers.
Mannino is 1-1-0 in three games this season for the Penguins with a 3.44 GAA and a .877 save percentage. He has played 162 AHL contests between Bridgeport, Chicago, St. John’s, Portland and Manchester and compiled a career record of 82-53-8 with four shutouts, a 2.84 GAA and a .905 save percentage.