CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Another former Corpus Christi goaltender has inked a professional deal as Pheonix Copley, who played for the IceRays in their inaugural North American Hockey League season has signed a two-year, entry level contract on Wednesday with the Washington Capitals. Copley will report to the Hershey Bears in the AHL.
“It feels great,” said Copley. “I know there is a lot of hard work ahead to get to the next level. I have all my past coaches and teammates to thank for believing in me and supporting me, without them I wouldn't have this opportunity. My time in Corpus Christi was a great experience and helped me develop both on and off the ice. My best memory with the IceRays was playing in front of the big crowds and great fans for the first time.”
When the IceRays joined the NAHL to start the 2010-2011 season, Copley started 42 out of the 60 games before moving on to the USHL playing for both Tri-City and Des Moines in the 2011-2012 campaign suiting up for a total of 45 games with both the Storm and Buccaneers.
“It’s a great day for the IceRays and the North American Hockey League,” said general manager Pat Dunn. “Congratulations to Pheonix! It couldn’t happen to better kid who persevered and sacrificed to get where he is today. It’s satisfying knowing the IceRays must be doing something right by having a second player sign an NHL contract in just four years. This definitely brings a cheer to our organization after a tough season.”
Following his junior career, the North Pole, AK native committed and played two seasons with the Michigan Tech Huskies in the WCHA. This past year with the Huskies, Copley recorded a .911 save percentage along with a 2.51 goals against average. During the 2013-2014 season he was named WCHA Player of the Week twice.
In just four seasons playing in the North American Hockey League, the IceRays have already had two former goalies sign NHL entry level contracts. Copley joins Anthony Stolarz, who was signed by Philadelphia in the off-season after being drafted by them during the 2012 NHL Draft. Joining an AHL team for Copley will make him the highest pro ranked former IceRays player.
The IceRays are on the road this weekend as they take on the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees at State Farm Arena. Puck drops at 7:05PM, coverage begins at 6:50PM with the IceRays Pregame Show on 91.1FM KSGR, ksgr.org, ustream.com, and fasthockey.com.
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