PHOTO: Greg Southam / Edmonton Journal
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are proud to announce the signing of right winger Cole Gammer to a tender contract for the 2016-17 season. The signing is the final tender available for next season.
“I’ve heard nothing but great things about Corpus Christi,” said Gammer. “I was looking to change things up after last year, and I feel like it’s going to be a really good move. I’m extremely excited to wear that jersey next year.”
Gammer, 19, played two seasons with the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), recording 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points with 93 penalty minutes through 73 games. Coming out of midget hockey, the Edmonton, Alta. native was drafted 197th overall (9th round) by the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League (WHL) the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft but remained with the Canadian Athletic Club (CAC) Edmonton Canadians AAA team in the 2013-14 season. He also appeared with the Edmonton North Oilers during the 2012 Alberta Cup as well as Canada West U19 in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge in Saskatoon, Sask.
Gammer played a full season with the Crusaders in during 2014-15 but suffered an injury during the playoffs, missing 10 months of action. He did return for 19 games during the 2015-16 season, recording three goals and five assists for eight points, but it’s been a long road back to playing form, and a change was needed.
“I came back this year really not into it and had to get my legs back under me. And I’m just getting them back under me as the season closed off. When this year ended, I was really looking for a change. I heard a lot of great things about the NAHL. I looked more into it and found the best fit for me, which turned out to be the IceRays. I’m really excited to work with the staff and the rest of the guys.”
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound right winger plays like a power forward with physicalty in the low areas with a nose for the puck and a want to both score and distribute the puck. His decision didn’t come without the help of two larger former Canadian IceRays with NCAA Division I commitments: Tanner Lomsnes, who played during the 2014-15 season and committed to Niagara University, and Carter Johnson, a member of last year’s team who committed to Miami University of Ohio. Their phone conversations were a large reason why Gammer chose Corpus Christi.
“You can only hear so much, but when you get the opinion from a player who has done it, you know what it’s going to be like. They said nothing but great things about the staff, the atmosphere, the arena, the type of guys in the room … It was just amazing. They’re all really down-to-Earth guys and told me how it was both good and bad. They’ve both got scholarships. There’s a great opportunity for that as well, and that will be my goal next year.”
Gammer is the ninth and final player to be tendered for the 2016-17 season. He joins forwards Dane Johnson and defenseman Conor Yawney of the Omaha AAA Lancers 18U (NAPHL), defenseman Andrew Froese of Traverse City High School, forwards Griffin Loughran and Adam Tretowicz of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 18U (T1EHL), goaltender Austin Park and forward Trevor St. Jean from the Ohio Blue Jackets (T1EHL), and forward Tommy Parrottino of the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 18U (T1EHL). All tenders will attend the IceRays Main Camp in July and compete for a spot on the 2016-17 roster.
Keep up with the IceRays all off-season long, and 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).