(Link to 2017 Pre-Draft Camp Registration here)
The Corpus Christi IceRays, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), invite you to join the organization for one of the 2017 IceRays Pre-Draft & Tryout Camps held in Niagara Falls, N.Y., St. Louis, Mizz. and Chesapeake, Va. in preparation for the team’s 20th Anniversary Season.
The IceRays brand has developed firm roots both in the city of Corpus Christi and the hockey world since the organization’s inception in July 1997 and inaugural 1998-99 season as members of the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL). Founded with a growing city and strong sports fan base, the IceRays brought a fresh sport into an unconventional market, educating the new fan base with community programs and physical, “blue collar” hockey. The organization remained a professional franchise for 12 seasons with the former WPHL and Central Hockey League (CHL), then ahead of the 2010-11 season joined the NAHL for its first year as a junior franchise, now heading into its eighth season in the league.
Within the organization, the IceRays have maintained a forward thinking mentality while helping to develop strong talent and further hockey careers as well as compete at high levels. The IceRays have gone through multiple changes both in type of league and team philosophies, but overall the commitment to providing a successful on-ice product has not wavered, which has been seen recently in Corpus Christi and by program alumni. In the first season of IceRays head coach Brad Flynn’s tenure, the team punched their ticket for the postseason, marking the second appearance in three years, which also includes the franchise’s best record in 2014-15 with Flynn behind the bench as Assistant Coach. This season’s team also set multiple new franchise records including consecutive wins by a team and for a goaltender and is on pace for the best win percentage in program history. Eight alumni players are currently on professional rosters, including three who have made it to the National Hockey League (NHL), and over 100 players have committed to colleges and universities in NCAA Division I and III programs.
In the area, the IceRays have been major contributors to the Corpus Christi community since the foundation of the team. The original WPHL IceRays worked to foster grass roots education of hockey in South Texas with roller hockey camps along the bay front and around the city. Today, with a devoted fan base and an integrated presence around the city, the IceRays continue to give back to the city that has hosted them as the longest active sports franchise. Each season, the IceRays average nearly 200 hours as a team within the Corpus Christi community, including over 1,000 man-hours performed by players, staff and mascot appearances. In addition to corporate grand openings, the IceRays visit local area schools and children’s hospitals to promote healthy living and spend time with young children who don’t have the ability to come to the American Bank Center, work with the city of Corpus Christi to refurbish and bring to life areas of the city, and help get people outside with community events and advocacy appearances.
This year, in preparation for the organization’s 20th Anniversary, the IceRays will be hosting two tryout camps prior to the 2017 NAHL Draft for the first time. The first 2017 IceRays Pre-Draft Camp will be held from May 27, 2017 through May 29, 2017 at the Niagara Falls Ice Pavilion in Niagara Falls, N.Y. followed by the 2017 IceRays Pre-Draft Camp from Jun. 2, 2017 through Jun. 4, 2017 at the St. Peters Rec-Plex in St. Peters, Mizz. The addition of the second camp is part of an expansion of opportunities for attendees to gain value for their investment.
“We are very excited to be heading back to St. Louis and for the first time Niagara Falls,” said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn. “Our pre-draft camps have greatly helped our organization reach the next level this season by being a playoff team and adding elite players to our lineup. Last season, we tendered five players that all attended our pre-draft camp as well as have eight players on our roster that all competed at our pre-draft camp.”
“We had a great turn out for our St. Louis camp last year,” said Mike Mondoux, IceRays Director of Scouting. “We definitely wanted to return to St. Louis, but we realized that St. Louis is tough for some players to attend. So, we decided to hold a camp in Niagara Falls as well. This will allow us to see more players from southern Ontario, eastern U.S. and the midwest between both camps.”
The IceRays Hockey Operations staff will also be tweaking the format compared to past seasons. Both camps will guarantee five games for all attendees as well as individual meetings with the IceRays staff, which has changed from the three to four games guarantee and a selected all-star event. This gives each attendee more opportunities to impress the organization on the ice as well as be able to give proper feedback and evaluation for the player while simultaneously creating more value for the registration cost.
Plus, the IceRays will hold one final tryout camp prior to main camp in Chesapeake, Va. at Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex. More information will be released in the coming weeks regarding that camp.
“We in Corpus Christi strive to find the best and in doing so are offering more games then any other for pre-draft camps,” said Flynn. “We will also meet with each player in one-on-one meetings to discuss performance in the camp. We encourage and invite teams from Canada and Tier III programs to come and have full access to the players in camp. We want to give each player the opportunity to showcase themselves to as many teams as possible. Our roster will see multiple changes for next year with seven Division I NCAA commitments for 2017-18 and the possibility of more when our season concludes.”
Registration for the Niagara Falls Camp will be $250.00, and registration for the St. Louis Camp will be $275.00. All forms and information, including camp registration, consent to treat form, international tryout form, and North American tryout form, host hotels, and payment information, are available here. All camps provide an opportunity to earn an invite to 2017 IceRays Main Camp at the end of July.
The IceRays begin their final road trip of the season on Friday, Mar. 31 at 7:11 p.m. to open a two-game weekend against the Shreveport Mudbugs from George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. The IceRays host their final home weekend of the 2016-17 regular season on Friday, Apr. 7 at 7:05 p.m. to open a two-game weekend against the Wichita Falls Wildcats from the American Bank Center. The IceRays are heading to the postseason for the third time, and 2017 Robertson Cup Playoffs tickets will be announced in the coming weeks. For tickets to the final home weekend, call 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), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).