(Left: Charlie Carkin; Middle: Nick Wheeler; Right: Mitchell Deruelle)
Peoria Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel has announced that winger-defenseman Nick Wheeler and second-year defenseman Charlie Carkin have been re-signed for the 2014-15 Southern Professional Hockey League season. In addition, rookie center Mitchell Deruelle has been signed to a tryout form.
Wheeler, 26, scored six goals and added five assists in 26 games for the Rivermen last season. On Jan. 6, he was called up by the Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL) and never returned. Instead, he played three games for Cincinnati before the Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL) claimed him off waivers on Jan. 27. Wheeler appeared in 22 games for Las Vegas with eight penalty minutes.
A native of Nashua, New Hampshire, Wheeler played 33 games for ECHL Fort Wayne in 2012-13, where he produced 15 points (3g, 12a) and 33 penalty minutes for the Komets. He also appeared in 29 contests in the Federal Hockey League between the Cape Cod Bluefins and Dayton Demonz. Overall, the 5’8, 175-pounder will enter his fourth professional season following a four-year career at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Carkin, 25, joined Taylor Larsen as the only two players to appear in every game for the Rivermen last year. In 56 regular-season contests, Carkin produced 19 points (4g, 15a) and 49 penalty minutes during his rookie campaign.
A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Carkin played four seasons of college hockey at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania from 2009-13. In 133 games, he recorded 21 points (4g, 17a) and 142 penalty minutes for the Lakers. The 6’0, 190-pound defenseman also played one season in the United States Hockey League for the Tri-City Storm (2008-09), where he collected three points (3a) and 54 penalty minutes in 47 appearances.
Deruelle, 21, spent last season in the Maritime Junior Hockey League with the Pictou County (Weeks) Crushers, where he registered 50 points (20g, 30a) in 49 games.
In addition, the 6’1, 190-pound forward played parts of three seasons for the Moncton Wildcats (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) from 2010-13. During that time, the Sydney, Nova Scotia native produced eight goals and 11 assists in 41 games.