Nailers sign Josh Shalla

WHEELING, W.Va. –  The Wheeling Nailers, ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, announced the team has signed forward Josh Shalla to an ECHL contract for the 2016-17 season.

Shalla, 24, will be entering his fifth season of professional hockey, after spending three seasons in the Nashville Predators organization with the Milwaukee Admirals and Cincinnati Cyclones, and most recently, one year skating with the Toledo Walleye. Shalla has posted a pair of 20-goal seasons, lighting the lamp 72 total times in 192 regular season games.

The Whitby, Ontario native broke into the pros in 2012-13, piling up 21 goals in 37 games with Cincinnati, while adding three goals in 32 games with Milwaukee. The following campaign, Shalla and the Cyclones took home the Eastern Conference championship, with series wins against Orlando, Fort Wayne, and Greenville. He racked up 30 points in 29 regular-season games that year, then tacked on 11 goals and 17 points in 23 postseason matches. The 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasonsfeatured similar numbers for Shalla, as he accumulated 43 points during his final season in Cincinnati, then pocketed 42 points in his lone year with the Walleye. In his four seasons as a pro, Shalla has totaled 159 points (77g-82a) in 250 games.

Prior to making the leap to the professional game, Shalla played parts of four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Brampton Battalion, Guelph Storm and Saginaw Spirit. His totals during that time were 233 points (133g-100a) in 256 games. His highest goal total came during the 2010-11 campaign, when he turned on the red light 47 times in 68 games with the Spirit. That summer, Nashville selected him with the 94th overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft. Shalla’s point productivity reached a high the following year, as he closed out his junior career with 40 goals and 76 points in 53 games.