The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their fourth player signing of the 2015 offseason. Wheeling has signed forward Connor Leen to an ECHL contract.
Leen, 23, got his first taste of professional hockey at the end of the 2014-15 season, when he joined the Bakersfield Condors, after completing four years of college hockey at the University of Maine. Connor made his pro debut with the Condors on March 13th, and went on to appear in 11 games, tallying three goals, three assists, and six points. Two of those goals came on April 10th against Stockton, which gave him a three-game point streak, as well as points in four of five contests.
“Connor is a fierce competitor, which I believe will translate well to the pro game,” said Nailers Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “He has a lot of skill, but brings grit to his games as well, as he is hard on pucks. At the end of last year, he got a taste of this level with Bakersfield, which should help him going into this season.”
While attending the University of Maine, Leen majored in Business Management, in addition to playing four years of college hockey for the Black Bears. In 120 games at Maine, Connor accumulated 24 goals, 29 assists, 53 points, and 79 penalty minutes. The Chester, New Jersey native had his most productive season as a junior in 2013-14, when he picked up 17 assists and 23 points, while also receiving the Richard Britt Perseverance Award, before netting a career high in goals (10) as a senior.
“I see myself as a small, skilled forward, who can skate fast and makes things happen in the offensive zone by creating plays,” Leen said. “Going out to Bakersfield last year definitely helped me, and when I spoke with Clark Donatelli this summer, his pedigree said it all, making me feel comfortable about coming to play in Wheeling.”
Connor Leen and his new Nailers teammates will begin the 2015-16 regular season on October 16th and 17th at Norfolk, before the home opener against Brampton on October 24th at 7:35.