Outgoing Robert Morris hockey captain Cody Wydo is expected to sign with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, according to sources close to the situation.
Wydo, 23, is the Colonials’ all-time leading scorer and will join the Nailers this week, most likely making his professional debut this coming weekend.
Wydo is one of ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which is given annually to the best college hockey player in the nation. He is the first finalist for the award that Robert Morris has had in program history.
In his four-year career, he has set almost every offensive record for the Colonials. He has scored 85 goals and 65 assists for 150 points in his 151 collegiate games. Over the last two seasons, he has scored 51 goals, which leads all NCAA players over that time.
Now, his career will turn a page, as the Colonials’ captain will set foot on professional ice for the first time. The 5’11”, 185-pound native of Southgate, Michigan feels that his scoring touch should play in professional hockey.
“I definitely think that my offensive ability will be able to translate pretty well into the pros, and then just keep working on my defense and try to keep getting better defensively and have that help me out as well,” he said.
His four years under head coach Derek Schooley at RMU have given him the tools that he will need to succeed at the next level.
“I’m a lot more defensive minded now,” he said. “I still have the scoring touch, but I’m more of a well-rounded player and I think about the defensive zone a lot more than when I first came in.”
Moving the puck out of the defensive zone and transitioning quickly to offense is something that he feels that he has particularly improved upon in his time at Robert Morris.
While the Colonials will certainly miss their departing captain, Wydo feels that in his time at RMU, the program has taken a huge step forward.
“I think we’re set up pretty well for the future,” he said of his collegiate squad. “We’ve been getting national recognition all year this year, so more and more kids will know about the program, and we’ll continue to get those recruits that make the program better.”
The Nailers (30-29-2) are in the thick of a playoff race in the ECHL North and could use the scoring help. They are beginning a four-game home stand tonight, when they host the Toledo Walleye at 7:05. Also visiting WesBanco Arena this week will be the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday at 7:35, the Reading Royals on Saturday at 7:30, and the Cincinnati Cyclones on Sunday at 4:05.
Photo credit: Brian Mitchell