Mele, 31, becomes the second veteran player to sign with the Nailers this summer, as he has appeared in 329 career games, playing in the AHL, ECHL and CHL. Mele captured the Ray Miron President’s Cup with the Fort Wayne Komets as Central Hockey League champions in his rookie season of 2011-12. Two years later, he got to taste victory again, when the Alaska Aces captured the 2014 Kelly Cup.
Over the course of his six-year career, Mele has made significant offensive contributions, while also playing a physical brand of hockey. In 2014-15 as a member of the Tulsa Oilers, the forward notched the first of back-to-back 20-goal seasons, while racking up 200 penalty minutes. One year later, he set a career high in goals, lighting the lamp 27 times for the Norfolk Admirals and Cincinnati Cyclones. Last season, he collected 17 points (10g-7a) in 40 games with Cincinnati. In his career, Mele has amassed 163 points (87g-76a) and 595 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, the Bronx, N.Y. native attended American International College, where he majored in Management, while playing four years of college hockey for the Yellow Jackets. Mele’s best season at AIC was his senior year, when he recorded 19 points (10g-9a), giving him career totals of 55 points (32g-23a) and 63 penalty minutes. He also played three seasons of junior hockey with the CJHL’s Hawkesbury Hawks, including a 28-goal, 66-point campaign in 2006-07.