CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are proud to announce the commitment of forward Carter Johnson to Miami University (Ohio), a NCAA Division I program in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), for the 2016-17 season. Johnson is the second player to make a NCAA Division I commitment this season.
“It’s definitely an honor,” said Johnson. “When I was young playing bantam, we took a trip to the States to watch a University of North Dakota game. I realized how good Division I hockey is, and since then I’ve wanted to play and work towards that. It’s nice to finally achieve a goal I’ve been working towards for a long time.”
Johnson, 20, joined the IceRays after being drafted 67th overall (3rd Round) in the 2015 NAHL Entry Draft out of the Swan Valley Stampeders in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), recording 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points with 56 penalty minutes through 60 games during the 2014-15 season. The Gimli, Man., native was drafted for two-straight seasons by the IceRays but elected to join the team following his second selection. Originally, Johnson was drafted 119th overall (6th Round) in the 2014 NAHL Entry Draft after recording 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points through 54 games with the Stampeders.
Since joining the IceRays, the 6-foot-3, 207-pound forward has made an immediate impact both on and off the ice. He was named one of four rotating alternate captains following the 2015 NAHL Showcase and since has been one of the team’s leading scorers. Through 38 games, Johnson owns 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points with 51 penalty minutes, a +7 rating, and 10 power play points with three of those coming as goals. He leads the team outright goals, assists, and power play points while sharing the lead in assists in assists and power play goals. Johnson has three multi-goal games, the most of any IceRays player this season, including the game-tying and game-winning goals in a 3-2 overtime win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Sep. 24, 2015.
“It really makes me smile to see such a quality, humble person achieve one of his lifelong goals,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic. “Carter is the ultimate teammate, and his peers are equally happy for him. He will be a great fit for the ‘Brotherhood’ of Miami.”
Johnson is the second IceRays player to ever play for the Miami RedHawks. Former IceRays defenseman Grant Hutton (‘12-’14) is in his first season with the RedHawks after finishing last season with the Janesville Jets. Johnson also joins three former players that are already in the league: Wes Michaud (‘14-’15) at Colorado College, Emil Romig (‘12-’13) at the University of Denver, and Jalen Schulz (‘12-’13) at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
I just want to try to play as much as possible,” said Johnson. “I’d just like to get in there and make a fast adjustment. Hopefully I can get up to the pace there and enjoy it. I’ve been working for a long time to get there, and I’m going to take advantage of every opportunity I get.”
Johnson is the fifth member of this year’s IceRays squad and fourth active player to earn a NCAA Division I scholarship, joining Michael Bevilacqua (Canisius College), Nathan Bryer (Mercyhurst University), and Jimmy O’Brien (Colorado College), who committed earlier this season and will join the Tigers in the 2017-18 season. In total, 25 IceRays have made NCAA Division I commitments with 12 of those coming while in IceRays uniforms, and 63 players have joined NCAA programs in the last six seasons.
The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:11 p.m. to begin a three-game set against the Lone Star Brahmas. Contact the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK or go to www.goicerays.com for details on season tickets along with pricing and seating. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).