CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays have acquired forward Matt Colford from the Minnesota Magicians (NAHL) in exchange for forward Connor Bucsis. In addition, the IceRays have acquired forward Maksim Dzhioshvili from the Bloomington Thunder (USHL) and traded forward Tyler Johnson to the Sugar Land Imperials (NA3HL). Both players will report to the IceRays on Thursday.
“With the addition of these two players, we wanted to send a message to the rest of our team and to our fans that we are committed to bringing a championship to Corpus Christi,” said IceRays Head Coach John Becanic.
Colford, 20, appeared in 32 games with the Magicians this season, recording six goals and 11 assists for 17 points with six penalty minutes and a -5 rating. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound center from Minn.is in his second NAHL season, appearing in 89 games with the Magicians while recording 24 goals and 34 assists for 58 points with 12 penalty minutes. Over his previous two seasons, Colford has led each team played for in scoring, recording 18 goals and 23 assists for 41 points last season with the Magicians and 34 goals and 47 assists for 81 points with Breck High School during his senior season.
“Matt was leading scorer of his team last year in Minnesota,” said Becanic. “He has proven every year to be an offensive threat. Most importantly he gives us some much needed depth at the center position, something we’ve been trying to do since the departure of [forward] Jack Jenson.”
Dzhioshvili, 18, was drafted 27th overall (Second Round) by Bloomington in the 2014 USHL Entry Draft, appearing in four games with the Bloomington Thunder this season, recording one assist with four penalty minutes and a -1 rating. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound forward from Moskva, Russia played two seasons with Little Caesars U18 of the High Performance Hockey League (HPHL) prior to being drafted, recording eight goals and 24 assists for 30 points with 50 penalty minutes in 55 games played.
“Max was a player we coveted last year but we knew he’d likely end up in the USHL,” said Becanic. “Upon hearing of his availability we were excited as we felt he would add some much needed depth up front. At 6-foot-5, he will be a handful along the boards.”
Bucsis, 19, appeared in 32 games with the IceRays this season, recording six goals and six assists for 12 points with 24 penalty minutes, a -5 rating, and one power play goal.
Johnson, 18, appeared in 16 games with the IceRays this season, recording one goal and one assist for two points with eight penalty minutes and a -1 rating.
The IceRays return home to the American Bank Center on Friday, January 9 at 7:05 p.m. for the first of the final two-game set against the Odessa Jackalopes at The Bank this season. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and 87.7 FM in-arena. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for season and individual ticket details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com. Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), and Vine (@goicerays).