CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The North American Hockey League (NAHL) announced on Tuesday they have selected defenseman Logan Gestro, forward Nic LaBurn, and forward Tanner Lomsnes to represent the Corpus Christi IceRays on Team South in the 2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament presented by Easton on February 23 & 24 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Mich. The IceRays skaters will be three out of 100 NAHL prospects to play in front of collegiate and professional scouts.
“Our three representatives all deserve the right to attend,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic. “As always, you wish more of your players can participate, but I am excited for all three to showcase themselves. Although there are no guarantees, this will increase their exposure to schools that may not have had the opportunity to see them play otherwise.”
The number of players represented for each NAHL team is determined based on their winning percentage on Jan. 18, 2015. Each team consists of a 20-man roster–12 forwards, six defenseman, two goaltenders–and only showcases those players without a college commitment with the exception of the NAHL Selects squad. Last season, the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament brought in 180 scouts to the event and helped over one-third of NAHL participants to sign NCAA Division I commitments.
Gestro, 18, has appeared in 33 games with the IceRays, recording three goals and ten assists for 13 points with a +5 rating. While ranking second amongst IceRays defensemen in points, the South Lyon, Mich., native has proven great strength along the blue line in breaking down opposing rushes, creating havoc in the defensive end, and keeping play alive for his forwards in the offensive half of the ice.
“It’s a big accomplishment for me this year,” said Gestro. “The rink that it’s taking place at is about 20 minutes from my house back in Michigan, so it’ll be nice to have the support of my family along the way. I’m expecting the speed and tempo to be much higher than usual.”
LaBurn, 20, is in his final year of junior eligibility and has shown one of the strongest forechecking presences of any IceRays skater. In 34 games this season, the Northville, Mich., native has earned 11 goals and nine assists for 18 points with a +3 rating. He shares the team lead in power play goals with Lomsnes and forward Wes Michaud at six goals, and he ranks fifth on the team in goals and sixth in points. LaBurn also earned Easton NAHL South Division 2nd Star of the Week on Nov. 3 for his two-goal, one assist performance against the Wichita Falls Wildcats.
“I’m honored to be picked for the tournament,” said LaBurn. “It’s a great opportunity for me to gain more exposure for possible schools. It’ll be a great experience, and I’ll see some good players. It’ll be fun.”
Lomsnes, 20, has been one of the strongest offensive leaders this season, especially in the team’s recent stretch. The Red Deer, Alberta, native has recorded 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points and a +5 rating to go along with five power play goals and one of the team’s two shorthanded goals. He ranks first on the team in goals, second in points, and third in assists. On Monday, Lomsnes was named Easton NAHL South Division 2nd Star of the Week after scoring three goals and one assist against the Wichita Falls Wildcats last weekend. His strength along the boards and willingness to create plays has found him success during his 36 games with the IceRays and in his final junior season.
“It’s pretty exciting and an honor to represent the IceRays,” said Lomsnes. “Obviously, you want to get you name out there and show everyone what you can do. The goal is to get a scholarship, and this is the first step toward that.”
Over the past four seasons, the IceRays have sent 16 players to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, including players like Perry D’Arrisso (Clarkson), Kyle Froese (Alaska-Fairbanks), Frank Misuraca (Alabama Huntsville), Emil Romig (Denver), Hayden Stewart (Cornell), and Anthony Stolarz (Nebraska-Omaha) who all earned NCAA Division I scholarships after attending the tournament. Team South will play the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) U-18 squad on Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. and Team Central on Feb. 24 at 2:00 p.m. All games will be broadcast live on FASTHockey.com.
The IceRays finish off their seven-game road trip this weekend as they play the Odessa Jackalopes beginning on Thursday, January 29 at 7:05 p.m. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for season and individual ticket details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com. Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), and Vine (@goicerays).