WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are excited to announce their 18th player signing of the 2018 offseason. Wheeling has signed goaltender Evan Cowley to an ECHL contract.
Cowley, 23, is entering his second professional season, after splitting his rookie campaign between the AHL and ECHL levels with the Springfield Thunderbirds and Manchester Monarchs. Evan posted a 5-5-0 record, with a 3.13 goals against average, a .901 save percentage, and one shutout in 14 games with Springfield, while compiling a 9-9-1 mark, a 3.15 goals against average, a .902 save percentage, and two shutouts with Manchester. He also appeared in four playoff contests with the Monarchs, going 1-1 with one shutout during their second round series against the Adirondack Thunder.
"Evan Cowley has tremendous upside, because of his size, athleticism, and poise playing the position," said Nailers Head Coach Mike Bavis. "His puckhandling skills will be an asset in our rink. We think Evan is ready to have a career season in Wheeling."
Prior to turning pro, the Evergreen, Colorado native attended the University of Denver for four years, where he majored in Economics while tending the crease for the Pioneers. Cowley finished with a goals against average under 2.25 and a save percentage of at least .920 in all four of his seasons in Denver, while earning a 23-15-3 record. The Pioneers reached the NCAA National Tournament in all four seasons with Evan on the roster, led by the 2016-17 squad which won the NCAA National Championship. Cowley is a former NHL draft pick, as he was selected by the Florida Panthers during the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
"This is a great opportunity for me to join a great organization with a coach that I have heard lots of good things about," Cowley said. "I enjoyed the experience and the atmosphere when I played in Wheeling last year, and I am excited to get there and hit the ground running. Because the rink is smaller, you have to be on your toes a bit more, so elite readiness is going to be key."
Evan Cowley and the Wheeling Nailers will begin the 2018-19 season on October 13th, when they visit the Norfolk Admirals. Wheeling's first home game will take place on November 3rd against the Indy Fuel. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley. For information on season tickets, group tickets, flex plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.