Stern returns to Nailers' blue line

WHEELING, W.Va. - The Wheeling Nailers, ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, announced the team has re-signed defensemen Brett Stern to an ECHL contract.

Stern, 24, had a remarkable rookie season, as he was the only Nailer who played in all 72 regular-season games, as well as all 26 games during the Kelly Cup Playoffs. While his defensive play is one of his biggest strengths, Stern also contributed to the offense during 2015-16, accumulating 24 points (7g-17a) in the regular season, before adding five more points in the postseason. The Lino Lakes, Minn. native had one of his most memorable games on Nov. 10th, when he netted his first career goal, then snapped a 5-5 tie to cap off a thrilling comeback win for Wheeling over Cincinnati on Education Day, in front of 5,511 fans at WesBanco Arena.

Prior to turning pro, Stern played college hockey at Minnesota State University - Mankato, where he was an extremely reliable blueliner, as he appeared in every game during his junior and senior seasons. Stern's most productive season came as a senior, when he found the back of the net three times, while adding five assists. Over the course of his four years with the Mavericks, Stern totaled 24 points (6g-18a) in 137 games. Stern was part of WCHA Tournament champion teams in 2014 and 2015, as Minnesota State University - Mankato reached the NCAA's National Tournament in three consecutive seasons.