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Nailers Sign Former Kelly Cup Champion, Mike Ratchuk
By Butch Pettit
HometownHockey.ca

Nailers Sign Former Kelly Cup Champion, Mike Ratchuk
The Wheeling Nailers have announced today that they have signed D-Man Mike Ratchuck to an ECHL Contracr. Ratchuck is the fourth player to sign with the Nailers in 2013 Mike is an offensive defenseman, who has an incredibly high hockey IQ, is a dynamic skater, and brings a solid shot from the blueline,” said Head Coach Clark Donatelli.
PHOTO CREDIT - ECHL.com

Wilkes-Barre Scranton - August 9, 2013 - The Wheeling Nailers have announced today that they have signed D-Man Mike Ratchuck to an ECHL Contracr. Ratchuck is the fourth player to sign with the Nailers in 2013

In a release received by PensFans4Ever the Nailers say.
“Mike is an offensive defenseman, who has an incredibly high hockey IQ, is a dynamic skater, and brings a solid shot from the blueline,” said Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “Having been in the pros for five years, I believe he will work well with our younger players, and I am looking forward to seeing him bring the experience of winning a Kelly Cup Championship with Florida into our locker room.”

Ratchuk, 25, will be entering his sixth professional season, after spending parts of each of the previous two years with the Florida Everblades. Mike joined the Everblades in January of 2012, when he was traded to Florida by the Elmira Jackals. After registering 11 points in 21 games with the Jackals, the blueliner went on to tally 21 points in 26 regular season games with the Everblades, before turning in six more points in the playoffs, as Florida captured its first ever Kelly Cup Title.

This past season, Ratchuk returned to Florida, following a 42-game stint in Austria. Once again, his numbers went up, as Mike compiled 11 points in 42 games with Ljubljana Olimpija HK, before racking up 20 points in 31 games with the Everblades. “Since I started playing, I’ve always enjoyed jumping up into the play and creating offense whenever I can,” Ratchuk said. “I like to use my speed to join the rush, while also being able to get back and be responsible defensively.”

During his five previous seasons as a pro, the South Buffalo, NY native has also spent 149 games in the American Hockey League, suiting up with the Philadelphia/Adirondack Phantoms, Syracuse Crunch, Springfield Falcons, and Binghamton Senators. His pro career started with the Phantoms in the spring of 2008, after his second year at Michigan State University, and having been drafted in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. Ratchuk’s most successful AHL campaign came as a rookie in 2008-09, when he appeared in 77 games, scoring five goals, 12 assists, and 17 points.

Ratchuk joins the Nailers as a two-time champion in his career, having won the 2013 Kelly Cup with the Florida Everblades, while also winning the 2007 National Championship with the Michigan State University Spartans.

“After talking with Clark Donatelli this summer, Wheeling seemed like a good opportunity for me, and that the team’s style of play is well-suited for an offensive defenseman like me,” said Ratchuk. “I am hoping to contribute here as much as I can, bringing some experience to help the younger guys out, especially after being part of a team that won the Kelly Cup.

Follow Me on TwitterButch Pettit has always been a Pittsburgh Fan bleeding black and gold, blogging about the Penguins and their Affiliates If you have questions or wish to contact Butch, you can email him at bpettit@ourhometown.ca







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