WHEELING,W.Va. (WTRF) – The Wheeling Nailers announced their 15th player signing of the 2020 offseason on Tuesday. Bringing in veteran forward Michael Pelech on an ECHL contract.
Pelech, 31, is set to begin his 12th season of professional hockey, as he continues to enjoy tremendous success on the ice. Michael ranks fourth in games played in ECHL history (705), fifth in assists (372), and is primed to join the top 20 in points, as he enters this season with 541. The veteran forward has suited up for seven different teams in the league, and has spent the last two years with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, notching 118 points in 135 games. Pelech’s best individual seasons came when he scored 25 goals for the Utah Grizzlies in 2014-15, then in 2018-19, when he amassed 65 points with Greenville. In 2012-13, Michael reached the Eastern Conference Final as a member of the Cincinnati Cyclones, and two years later, he finished second on Utah with 13 points in the postseason.
“Michael is a proven point producer at the ECHL level,” said Nailers Head Coach Mark French. “He has a rare combination of offensive ability and grit. We’re looking forward to adding his experience and leadership to our dressing room.”
In addition to his ECHL accolades, the Toronto, Ontario native has also spent parts of five seasons in the American Hockey League, playing for seven different squads. Between his ECHL and AHL time, Pelech has achieved double digits in goals, at least 25 points, and at least 55 games played in each of his 11 pro seasons. Prior to turning pro, Michael played four seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with Kitchener, Toronto, and Mississauga. Following his final season in Mississauga, Pelech was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
“I am very excited to join the Wheeling Nailers,” Pelech said. “I feel very fortunate to play hockey in these difficult times. I have heard great things about the coaching staff, organization and community. I cannot wait to get the season started.”