WHEELING, W.Va. – As the Wheeling Nailers preparations for the 30th season of hockey in Wheeling, the team announced its first signing of the offseason. After an outstanding rookie season with the Nailers in 2020-21, Matt Alfaro has re-signed with Wheeling for the 2021-22 season.
The 24-year-old forward collected 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points in 61 games in his rookie campaign. Alfaro started the season strong recording six points in his first eight games, including notching the overtime winner against Greenville.
February was by far Alfaro’s finest month of the year. The Calgary, Alberta native notched at least one point in nine consecutive games, the longest point streak by a Wheeling player in 2020-21. Throughout the season, Alfaro scored multiple points in seven different games. His best night was a four-point effort against the Fort Wayne Komets on April 7 in a 4-3 overtime win for Wheeling. After that performance, Alfaro was called up to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Prior to Wheeling, Alfaro led the University of Calgary Dinos scoring 15 goals and 21 assists for 36 points in 27 games during his final year of school in 2019-20. He earned selection on the USports (West) First All-Star Team and USports All-Canadian Second Team. He also finished his junior career as nearly a point per game player as he recorded 60 points in 61 games during 2016-17 with the Kootenay Ice and Lethbridge Hurricanes.
“Matt Alfaro took a big step in his career last year, as we relied on him in every situation,” said Wheeling Nailers Head Coach Derek Army. “He has a bright future as a player and a leader, and we are really excited to have him back, as he continues to progress with our organization.”
Alfaro added, “I am really excited to be back in Wheeling, where I was able to gain lots of confidence, knowing the organization and the coaching staff. I got a good taste of the pro lifestyle last year and this year I look to improve on that while being a leader on and off the ice and helping the team get back to its winning ways”
The Nailers will open the 30th season of hockey in Wheeling on October 23 in Fort Wayne. The Nailers will return to Wesbanco Arena on November 6, to host the Komets.
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