CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – Corpus Christi IceRays goaltender Tomáš Vomáčka has been ranked 14th among North American goaltenders in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings released this morning.
The players listed on the final rankings are scouted and eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago, Ill. on June 23-24, 2017 and have been watched since the initial NHL Central Scouting Futures List was released in July ahead of the 2016-17 season. The final rankings are the last update from the mid-term rankings in January ahead of this year’s draft to give a gauge of player value for NHL management and scouting departments.
Vomáčka, 17, is one of 31 goaltenders to be listed on final rankings and fifth among goaltenders in USA Hockey junior development leagues including the USHL and NAHL. Since his last rankings, the Trutnov, Czech Rep. native earned three large milestones both personally and for the organization. Personally, Vomáčka was named to the NAHL Selects for the 2017 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, Mich. and saved 32 of 36 shots through both games while recording the first overtime win in tournament history against the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP) on February 28. He also signed his commitment to the University of Connecticut, a NCAA Division I program, on March 16 for the 2018-19 season. Plus, he broke the junior record for longest win streak by an IceRays goaltender at six wins from December 17 to January 21.
Vomáčka joins current NHL and American Hockey League (AHL) goaltender Anthony Stolarz as the two lone IceRays to be listed on the final rankings. Stolarz was listed fourth in the 2011-12 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings and drafted 45th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL Draft. Vomáčka is only one of six NAHL players in the final rankings, including forward Sam Huff (131st, Minot Minotauros), defensemen Hunter Lellig (188th, Minnesota Magicians), Brandon Maass (159th, Fairbanks) and Keaton Pehrson (158th, Austin Bruins), and goaltender Ivan Prosvetov (31st, Minnesota Magicians). Last season, goaltender Jack LaFontaine (Janesville Jets) was selected 75th overall (3rd Round) by the Carolina Hurricanes after ranking 13th in the final NHL Central Scouting list.
“The last rankings are where NHL Central Scouting really weed out players, and to see Tomáš still ranked is great news for our organization and, more importantly, to him,” said IceRays general manager Pat Dunn. “Now it’s a waiting game until the draft this upcoming June in Chicago. It’s going to be a stressful period for Tomáš, but that’s the beauty of being on the list. It certainly doesn’t guarantee that you will be selected, but the odds are greatly in his favor. We will all be following the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and wish Tomáš the best as he truly deserves it. With the commitment that he made to leave his native Czech Republic for the U.S. was a big step for him. Here is the story of a kid that made sacrifices to obtain his goal. Something tells me that he will be rewarded in late June.”
Through his first junior season in the United States, Vomáčka recorded a 19-13-6 record with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage through 41 games with one shutout. His 19 wins ranks third in IceRays junior franchise history, but his goals-against average and save percentage are the best among qualified goaltenders in junior franchise history. Vomáčka also finished the year eighth among NAHL goaltenders save percentage, ninth in goals-against average and 11th in wins.
The IceRays begin the 2017 Robertson Cup Playoffs on Friday, Apr. 14 at 7:11 p.m. from George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum to begin a best-of-five series. The IceRays will host two playoff games on Wednesday, Apr. 19 and, if necessary, Thursday, Apr. 20 at 7:05 p.m. from the American Bank Center. Tickets will go on sale this Thursday at 12:00 p.m. CDT, and fans can call 361-814-PUCK with questions. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).