Bakker, 27, enters his third season of professional hockey, after spending the majority of the previous two campaigns with the Nailers. Wheeling first acquired Bakker by claiming him off of waivers on Dec. 3, 2013, which led to his professional debut three days later. During his two seasons with the Nailers, the Navan, Ontario native has appeared in 92 games, tallying 31 points (10g-21a) and 178 penalty minutes, while also earning the opportunity to suit up in 15 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs. In 2014-15, Bakker received two other accolades, as he was named team captain at the start of the season, and the McDonald’s Community Award winner at season’s end.
Prior to making the jump to the pro game, Bakker attended Carleton University for five years, where he recorded 48 points (17g-31a) and 398 penalty minutes in 121 games with the Ravens. Bakker also played junior hockey with the CJHL’s Orleans Blues and Nepean Raiders in parts of three seasons, in addition to one game with the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques.