CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Jake Stella of the Corpus Christi IceRays has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the American International College (AIC) Yellow Jackets. Stella, 20, will begin his student-athlete career at AIC this fall, joining the Yellow Jackets (Atlantic Hockey) for the 2019-20 season.
The Karlstad, Sweden native is the third member of the IceRays to commit to AIC this season, joining forward Blake Bennett, who Stella has been a linemate of most of this season, along with goaltender Sam Best, who joined the Yellow Jackets midseason as a spring semester addition. Including Stella, 12 members of the current IceRays roster have committed to NCAA programs.
“In my opinion, Jake has been one of the top 200-foot centers in the league this year,” said IceRays Head Coach/GM Ryan Cruthers. “We are extremely proud of his commitment and feel AIC is a great fit for him. Jake has worked extremely hard to get this opportunity, as he is the type of player that does everything right on and off the ice. He has been a pleasure to coach and develop this season and I’m excited to watch him succeed at the next level.”
The 6-1, 187-pound center has been a consistent presence in the faceoff circle this season, and has recorded 28 points (16+12) through 47 games played, including six power play goals. Stella played in the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament last week in Attleboro, Mass., and notched a goal in the South Division’s first game, and the primary assist on the team’s overtime winner the following day. He was named NAHL South Division Star of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey on Dec. 17 after posting seven points (5+2) in a three-game road sweep at Odessa, including a hat trick. Stella is the only IceRays player to appear in all 47 regular season games so far this season.
The IceRays return to action Thursday morning, Feb. 28, with a 10:00 AM CT school day home game against the Shreveport Mudbugs. The two teams also face off Friday at 7:05 PM CT. 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. Stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays) and Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays). 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.