WHEELING, W.Va. – The Wheeling Nailers, ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, announced that Clark Donatalli has been named the new head coach for the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Donatelli, 50, came to the Nailers organization at the start of the 2011-12 season, serving as an assistant coach under Stan Drulia. In December of that year, Drulia was promoted to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, opening the door for Clark to take over as interim head coach. The first year bench boss finished the campaign six games over .500, leading the club to its 11th playoff appearance, while helping to secure his position as head coach for future seasons. In 2013-14, the Providence, Rhode Island native got his first taste of postseason success, when Wheeling swept the South Carolina Stingrays, following a 39-win regular season – the club’s highest win total since 2005-06. Last year, Donatelli led the Nailers to yet another winning season, as the team went 37-33-2, before nearly pulling off an upset over Brabham Cup Champion Toledo in the opening round of the playoffs. This season’s squad has gotten off to a 14-10-3 mark, good for 31 points and second place in the North Division.