The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed defensemen Peter Merth and Dustin Stevenson and forwards Christiaan Minella and Denver Manderson on Thursday.
Merth spent the majority of 2012-13 with the Nailers, joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late in the season. He recorded a goal, 16 assists and 75 PIM in 48 games with Wheeling before signing a professional tryout agreement (PTO) with the Penguins on April 16. Merth played in eight playoff contests for the Penguins, contributing two assists. He also skated in seven games last season for the Hamilton Bulldogs, notching an assist.
The 26-year old made his AHL debut during the 2011-12 season, appearing in 11 contests for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and registering two assists and 22 PIM. In addition, he recorded three goals, nine assists, 54 PIM and a team-leading plus-20 rating in 50 games for Wheeling.
Stevenson joins Wilkes-Barre/Scranton following a Kelly Cup championship campaign with the Reading Royals. In the regular season, he totaled 10 assists and 103 PIM in 65 games. He was one of eight Royals to appear in every playoff game and finished fourth among all defensemen with nine points (1G-8A) in 22 games.
The 23-year old spent his first two professional seasons with the South Carolina Stingrays and compiled three goals, 16 assists and 157 PIM in 135 games.
Minella, 28, began the 2012-13 season with the Wheeling Nailers, posting eight goals, four assists and 33 penalty minutes. He saw his first action in the American Hockey League after signing a PTO with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Feb. 22. Minella went on to appear in eight regular season and six postseason contests for the Penguins. He recorded his first AHL goal in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Syracuse Crunch.
Now entering his fourth professional season, Minella totaled 27 goals and 29 assists in 148 ECHL games with Cincinnati and Wheeling. Also a native of Cincinnati, Minella played four years of collegiate hockey for Notre Dame, registering 33 points (12g-21a) in 113 games.
Manderson, 24, was limited to one game with Wheeling last season due to injury. In 2011-12, his first professional season, he finished tied for fourth on the Nailers with 40 points (18G-22A) in 52 games.
Hailing from Fergus, Ont., Manderson spent his junior career with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League. In 2009-10, he tallied 113 points in 50 games to finish third in scoring in the BCHL and second on the Vees to current-Pittsburgh Penguin Beau Bennett. Manderson ranked fourth in the league in goals (40) and third in assists (73). He also led the Vees with 25 points (10G-15A) in 16 postseason contests.