WHEELING W.Va. (WTRF)–The Wheeling Nailers fell short of the Kelly Cup Playoffs and their 2022-2023 season came to an end. 

They played 72 regular season games and went 29-38-5 overall.

This is head coach Derek Army’s second season as the Nailers head coach.

He is one of three former Nailers players to work as a full-time coach with the team.

Coach Army says this was a critical building year for the program.  

Yeah, I mean It’s one that, disappointing with how it ended not making it to playoffs always is…not how you draw it up…but certainly not disappointed in the players. I thought the players competed right until the very end. When we were out of the playoffs, they could have easily nailed it in the last ten games essentially and they didn’t. That is kudos to the leadership here at the end…

How can we improve for next season? How can we get ready for next season, I think we certainly missed a lot of the players that we had last year, and we lost ten of our top twelve scorers in the playoff run last year. We didn’t have any of them back this year. We missed that but it’s about finding new players and I certainly think we’ve maybe hit some players now looking into next season.

Derek Army, Wheeling Nailers head coach

The team secured 4 overtime wins and scored 223 goals.  

Cedric Desruisseaux led the team with 59 points and 29 assists.

Alongside third-year forward Tyler Drevitch he played every game. 

I wish we were still play and we had a little playoff run to go to, but I think there are a lot of positives we can take out of it…I think a lot of guys are really proud that we get to come to the rink every day and do the job that we love. It’s our passion so. 

Tyler Drevitch, Nailers Forward

7News sports reporter Ashley Kaiser asked Drevitch if he would be returning to the team next year.

That’s the plan. I like it here, so I don’t plan on playing anywhere else. I’ll go home and take some time to kind of digest and be with family. Then I will start thinking about the next season here in a few weeks.

Tyler Drevitch, Nailers Forward

Although their season just wrapped up, they look towards the future  

Coach Army says tomorrow the work begins for next year.