CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – When the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament takes place Feb. 18-19 in Attleboro, Mass., the Corpus Christi IceRays will be represented by a team record of at least four players, plus will have a coach behind the bench for the first time. IceRays General Manager/Head Coach Ryan Cruthers has been selected to serve as assistant coach for Team South.
Coaches and roster quantity are based off winning percentage as of Tuesday, Jan. 22. With a winning percentage of 0.539, Corpus Christi ranks second in the NAHL South Division, meaning Cruthers will serve as assistant coach.
Players for the game will be named at a later date. Team South will have four players each from the IceRays and Amarillo Bulls, three players each from the Shreveport Mudbugs and Lone Star Brahmas, and two players each from the Topeka Pilots and Odessa Jackalopes. Additional IceRays may be named to the two NAHL Selects teams as well.
The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly scouted events, drawing over 230 scouts last season, including representatives from nearly every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. The event showcases the top NAHL players currently uncommitted for college hockey, as well as some potential NHL Draft picks.
The two-day tournament, featuring teams from each of the NAHL’s four divisions, plus two NAHL Selects teams, will be held at the New England Sports Village, home of the NAHL’s Northeast Generals. 120 players will be split into six teams (South Division, Central Division, Midwest Division, East Division, Selects Red, Selects Blue) and will play two games each. The entire event will be available to watch on HockeyTV (hockeytv.com). More information is available at nahl.com/tpt.
Cruthers, 34, has led the IceRays to their best start in junior-franchise history, including a record nine-game winning streak from Nov. 24 through Dec. 28. The Farmingdale, N.Y., native is in his first year as head coach of the IceRays. He played minor-league hockey over the course of eight seasons in the American Hockey League and ECHL before moving into the coaching ranks. Last week, the IceRays officially added the title of General Manager to his position.
Cruthers will be joined on the bench by Team South head coach Rocky Russo of the Bulls, who face the IceRays in a three-game weekend starting tonight at American Bank Center. Puck drop is at 7:05 PM CT tonight and Saturday, and 3:05 PM CT on Sunday afternoon. Single game tickets, group tickets and suites for the remainder of the 2018-19 IceRays season are on sale now. Visit goicerays.com or call 361-814-PUCK (7825) for tickets or more information. IceRays games are carried live on Sportsradio Corpus Christi (1230 AM/95.1 FM/96.1 FM), HockeyTV and Mixlr with the pre-game show starting 15 minutes prior to faceoff. For more information, visit goicerays.com/broadcast. Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays).