CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) have announced the roster for the upcoming preseason weekend against the Lone Star Brahmas and Shreveport Mudbugs.
Eight players return from the 2015-16 roster including the highest returning scorer Brad Power, who finished last season with 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points, which placed him second in goals and third in points on the team. Also returning is journeyman defenseman Trevor Heuser, who comes into the season with 137 games played and sits ten games from setting the all-time IceRays record. Others include forwards Nathan Bryer, Mason Krueger and Brendan Miller as well as defensemen Matt Acciaioli, Andy McGlynn and Keenan Spillum.
10 new forwards join the ranks this weekend including two tenders and four draft picks. Canadian-born Cole Gammer and American Dane Johnson each signed on with the IceRays last season and earned their spot through training camp after coming from Sherwood Park (AJHL) and the Omaha AAA Lancers program, respectively. Two more Buffalo Jr. Sabres products join the organization in 75th overall pick David Baskerville and camp invitee Matthew Novo. The other three non-Buffalo forwards drafted consist of David Thomson (41st overall), Josh Tripp (105th overall) and Christian Thomas (153rd overall). Other forwards include Jayson DiMizio, Cole Filler and Christian Stevens.
Five additional defensemen join the new blue line core ahead of this weekend including two tenders. Conor Yawney, the son of Anaheim Ducks assistant coach Trent Yawney, signed on to a tender contract and joins teammate Johnson from the Omaha AAA Lancers program, and Andrew Froese, the younger brother of former IceRays defenseman Kyle Froese, hails from Traverse City High School after two seasons serving as captain and putting up high scoring numbers. One player has prior Major Junior experience: Tucker White, who played 61 games over two seasons between the Moncton Wildcats and Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Other defensemen include Curtis Weyerhaeuser and Trevor Wilhelm.
The IceRays will carry three goaltenders throughout the first month of the season including the NAHL Showcase, and all three are new to the IceRays organization. Cullen Barber, former Brian’s Customs Goaltender of the Year, joins the team after three seasons with Livonia Stevenson High School in Michigan. Camden Burggrabe, who played two games with the Johnstown Tomahawks last season, comes in as the only goaltender with a NCAA Division I commitment (Northern Michigan University). Tomáš Vomáčka, the highest profile player on the roster, was drafted 136th overall (6th Round) by the IceRays in the 2016 NAHL Draft and was ranked on the NHL Central Scouting Futures List as a player to watch this season.
A full list of players and their backgrounds can be found here. The IceRays play the Lone Star Brahmas at the NYTEX Sports Centre on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. followed by two games against the Shreveport Mudbugs on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. from Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. The IceRays open the 2016-17 regular season on Thursday, Sep. 15 against Wichita Falls.
The IceRays open the 2016-17 home schedule on Friday, Oct. 14 against the Odessa Jackalopes at the American Bank Center. Purchase your 2016-17 season ticket membership ahead of opening night! Reserve yours by contacting the IceRays Front Office at 361-814-PUCK. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Vine (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).