The Corpus Christi IceRays began their NAHL Training Camp at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas on Friday morning. 80 players from throughout North America, and one European player are trying to make the inaugural IceRays NAHL squad. IceRays Head Coach Brent Hughes, Assistant Coach Justin Quenneville, General Manager Pat Dunn, and former IceRays player and NAHL alum Ryan Bennett are among those attending the camp. The three-day camp continued through Sunday, when the IceRays begin making cuts to trim their roster. For more information, please call the IceRays office at 361.814.PUCK, or visit their new website at www.goicerays.com.
The IceRays training camp gives the team a look at talented 17-20 year olds from around the globe. In addition to international players from Canada and Latvia, players from places like Alaska, Florida, and several homegrown products from the Lone-Star State are competing. On Sunday morning the IceRays made their first cut, dropping their roster size to 40 players. That afternoon, the remaining players scrimmaged and the following week, the IceRays will make another cut to 30 players. NAHL rules stipulate the club’s roster size be no larger than 25 by the start of the season on September 15th, and then an additional cut to 23 players by October 1st. The players who make this weekend’s cuts will attend a second camp in Corpus Christi during the first week of September, and additional new players are still available to sign through free agency.
Dunn said, upon seeing the players on Friday morning, that he was extremely excited about the talent available. “I think people are going to be very happy with what they see,” he said. “I knew these players would be good, but their size is really impressive too. Several of the players in camp are 6’4” or bigger, and they’re hungry and tough. They all want to come to Corpus Christi so badly, and they’re leaving everything out there, competing nonstop. When the season starts, the IceRays are going to be a big, talented, hard-working team that people will have a lot of fun watching.”