CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays completed the 2015 NAHL Draft on Tuesday afternoon and now have their 30-man protected list heading into Main Camp in July. The event took three hours, 29 minutes for the IceRays to make all 13 selections in this year’s field.
Prior to the NAHL Draft this afternoon, the IceRays traded their 2015 2nd Round Pick and 5th Round Pick to the Minnesota Magicians for two 3rd Round Picks. After already trading their 1st Round Pick during the 2014-15 regular season to the Coulee Region Chill for forward Griff Jeszka, the IceRays were lined up with three 3rd Round Picks to open their portion of the draft.
Graham Hunt of Concord, Mass., was the first IceRays selection at 49th overall out of the Swan Valley Stampeders of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). The 6-foot-1, 180-pound goaltender is entering his final year of junior eligibility but after a solid campaign with the Stampeders, posting a 23-25-0 record with a 3.05 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. He earned MJHL 2nd Team All-Star and was fourth in save percentage at season’s end. He also owns five games of experience in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
At 55th overall, the IceRays picked up forward Brad Power of St. John’s, Newfoundland out of the Maritime Hockey League (MHL). The former 2013 QMJHL Draft Pick padded his career statistics as the team’s leading power play scorer and second overall point producer, recording 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 points with 10 power play goals and just six penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 161-pound Canadian comes in with two seasons left of eligibility.
One of Hunt’s teammates from the Swan Valley Stampeders finished the team’s 3rd Round selections as the IceRays took forward Carter Johnson of Gimili, Manitoba at 67th overall. The IceRays have a history with the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Canadian, drafting him in last year’s draft at 119th overall (9th Round) following a selection to the MJHL All-Rookie Team in 2014. This season, he improved his numbers with 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points and ranked second in both assists and points.
The IceRays made use of two back-to-back 4th Round Picks to grab a forward and defenseman. Forward Drake Lindsay of Grosse Isle, Manitoba from the Neepaw Natives (MJHL) made the third-straight Canadian-born skater to join the IceRays’ draft list and the 81st overall pick. He also comes in with a strong 2014-15 campaign, registering 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points with 96 penalty minutes and four power play goals. The 6-foot, 175-pound Canadian joined Hunt on the MJHL 2nd Team All-Star roster after finishing tied for sixth in the MJHL in scoring.
With the 82nd overall pick, the IceRays selected their first high school player of the draft in Michael Faulkner of New York, N.Y., from Brunswick High School. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound captain was the top-scoring defenseman in Prep Hockey across the United States, recording seven goals and 35 assists for 42 points. Not only that, but as his team advanced to the Prep Hockey Elite 8, he received recognition with that achievement on SBNation.com.
The IceRays weren’t expected to make a selection in the 5th Round, however they worked out a trade with the Kenai River Brown Bears to move up to the 91st overall pick, swapping that spot for their 6th Round Pick (121st overall). With that pick, the IceRays brought back Regen Cavanagh of Chesapeake, Va., from the Hampton Roads Whalers of the USPHL Elite. The 5-foot-10, 161-pound forward played six games with the IceRays as an affiliate, recording an assist on Oct. 18 against the Topeka RoadRunners. He is also the son of former professional player Pat Cavanagh, who played parts of four seasons in the ECHL during the early to mid-1990s.
The next pick came at 136th overall (7th Round), and with that the IceRays brought in another member of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres: David Baskerville of Eden, N.Y. The 6-foot, 181-pound forward played with tender Michael Bevilacqua in Buffalo while registering six goals and 12 assists for 18 points with 35 penalty minutes and two power play goals. Over his past season, he committed to Canisius College, a NCAA Division I program, and has three years of eligibility remaining in junior hockey.
The first United States Hockey League (USHL) selection came at 150th overall (8th Round) for the IceRays with forward Chris Dodero of Bloomingdale, Ill. Like Baskerville, he also enters the fray with a NCAA Division I commitment (Colorado College) but three seasons of USHL experience. The 5-foot-9, 176-pound junior veteran earned three goals and eight assists for 11 points last season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, Lincoln Stars, and Des Moines Buccaneers during his 2014-15 campaign. His brother Charlie currently plays with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL).
The first British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) selection followed in the 9th Round (161st overall). Forward Stephan Seeger of Mississauga, Ontario from the Merritt Centennials comes in with Canadian Hockey League (CHL) experience for just over one year with the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) and the reigning Memorial Cup Champion Oshawa Generals (Ontario Hockey League) and spent last season across the OHL, USHL, and BCHL. The 6-foot, 190-pound Canadian earned six goals and 12 assists for 18 points last year.
Another BCHL player was selected in the 10th Round (172nd overall) from a familiar parent organization. Logan Fauber of Niwot, Colo., from the Wenatchee Wolves of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) comes in with experience in the NAHL following 13 games as an affiliate with the former South Division opponent Wenatchee Wild. The 5-foot-10, 183-pound defenseman was drafted by Wenatchee in the 2014 NAHL Draft in the 4th Round and also went in the same round of the 2013 USHL Draft to the Tri-City Storm.
The next two selections also have NCAA Division I commitments as more teams completed their drafts. At 182nd overall (11th Round), the IceRays took Simon Butala of Downingtown, Penn., from the Sioux City Musketeers, another player with NAHL experience. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound defenseman played 19 games with the Janesville Jets last season before earning the call to the Musketeers for 11 games. Butala has already committed to the University of Maine and also was selected 8th overall in the 2014 USHL Futures Draft. He is the lone 1998 birth year on this year’s draft list.
The IceRays stayed defensive in their pick of Charlie Raith of Winnetka, Ill. from the Chicago Steel (USHL) with the 191st overall selection (12th Round). The 5-foot-10, 163-pound defenseman has his college commitment booked to Colorado College following 39 games in the USHL last season. The Steel took him in the 3rd Round of the 2013 USHL Draft.
The final pick for the IceRays came at 196th overall (13th Round) with only a handful of NAHL teams remaining, and with that pick came another Buffalo Jr. Sabre: Brendan Dunning of Buffalo, N.Y. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward is the second Jr. Sabre drafted this year by the IceRays and the third to join the 30-man roster. Last season, Dunning earned nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points with two power play goals and has played parts of the last two seasons with the former Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, including last season.
Listed below are all of the 2015 IceRays Draft Picks organized by round order. This list can also be viewed here.
3rd Round: Graham Hunt (G) – Concord, MA – Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL)
3rd Round: Brad Power (F) – St. John’s, NL, CAN – Summerside Western Capitals, MHL
3rd Round: Carter Johnson (F) – Gimili, MB, CAN – Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL)
4th Round: Drake Lindsay (F) – Grosse Isle, MB, CAN – Neepaw Natives (MJHL)
4th Round: Michael Faulkner (D) – New York, NY – Brunswick HS (USHS)
5th Round: Regen Cavanagh (F) – Chesapeake, VA – Hampton Roads Whalers (USPHL)
7th Round: David Baskerville (F) – Eden, NY – Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL)
8th Round: Chris Dodero (F) – Bloomingdale, IL – Lincoln Stars (USHL)
9th Round: Stephan Seeger (F) – Mississauga, ON, CAN – Merritt Centennials (BCHL)
10th Round: Logan Fauber (D) – Niwot, CO – Wenatchee Wolves (BCHL)
11th Round: Simon Butala (D) – Downingtown, PA – Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
12th Round: Charlie Raith (D) – Winnetka, IL – Chicago Steel (USHL)
13th Round: Brendan Dunning (F) – Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL)
Season tickets for the 2015-16 IceRays hockey season are on sale now. New to full season plans are first round tickets for the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs. Contact the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK for details or check out pricing and seating online at www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), and Vine (@goicerays).