The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced three transactions, with all three taking effect immediately. Pittsburgh has assigned forwards Tom Kuhnhackl and Anton Zlobin to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In addition, the Nailers have activated forward Christiaan Minella from the 21-day injured reserve list.
Kuhnhackl, 22, appeared in Friday night’s game for the Nailers, recording one shot on goal. Prior to that, he had suited up in 48 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, tallying eight goals, two assists, and ten points. While he is still considered a rookie, this is Tom’s second season as a pro, after playing in two games with Wheeling and 11 games with the Penguins in 2012-13.
Zlobin, 21, also played for the Nailers on Friday night in Elmira, posting one goal and one assist in the team’s 6-4 comeback win. Zlobin’s goal started the scoring for Wheeling, while his assist set up Zack Torquato, who cut the deficit to 4-3. Anton has now appeared in 40 games between the AHL and ECHL this season, registering ten goals, 11 assists, and 21 points. The Moscow, Russia native has produced at least one point in seven of his ten games with the Nailers.
Minella, 28, is expected to return to the lineup for his first game since November 9th, after missing 47 straight contests due to an injury. Prior to that, Christiaan appeared in eight games for the Nailers this season, notching three goals, one assist, and four points, which included a two-goal performance against Elmira on October 18th. This is the Cincinnati, OH native’s fourth season of professional hockey, after spending his first three years with Cincinnati, Wheeling, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. During his time as a pro, Minella has accumulated 30 goals, 30 assists, and 60 points in 164 games.
The Wheeling Nailers play their first home game in two weeks on Saturday at 7:00, when they take on the Reading Royals.