CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have signed defenseman Joey Rosa of the Philadelphia Revolution in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) to a tender contract for the 2017-18 season.
“I’m really excited to be back in the league,” said Rosa on his commitment. “I’m hoping for more success this year, but I’ll have some familiar faces in Corpus Christi next year. It feels good and is a good place to tender.”
Rosa, 19, played 37 games with the Philadelphia Revolution during the 2016-17 season, recording eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points with 30 penalty minutes and six power play goals. He finished sixth on the team in scoring and most among defenseman. The 6-foot, 205-pound defenseman began the season with the Brookings Blizzard, earning his NAHL debut against the IceRays on September 23 before being released from the organization. Rosa is also a product of the NAHL system, playing with the St. Louis AAA Selects in the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) starting in the 2012-13 season, recording 16 goals and 20 assists for 36 points through 43 games with the St. Louis Selects 18U squad from 2014-15 to 2015-16.
The St. Louis area continues to be a strong connection for the IceRays with their third player this season tendered from current or alumni players, joining defensemen Trevor Wilhelm, who later joined the IceRays and stayed for the second half of the season, and Christian Dahl, who tendered on November 17 and made his NAHL debut on March 15. Rosa, a native of Ballwin, Mo., spent a lot of time playing with both Dahl and Wilhelm as well as playing under IceRays scout Kyle O’Kane, who helped bring him to the organization and teach him through development before making the leap to the junior level, and all three had an influence on his decision to sign with the IceRays next year.
“Joey has been known as a puck-moving, offensive defenseman throughout his career,” said O’Kane on his former player. “He will bring grit and prior junior hockey experience to the IceRays. His compete level and shot are two of the better attributes we look forward to utilizing next season.”
Much of Rosa’s evolution came from his small stint with the Blizzard this season and the chances he received to further his development in Philadelphia. He credits his stronger game to the coaching staff that helped give him that opportunity.
“ I had a lot of opportunities in Philadelphia to develop parts of my game that I needed in order to stick in the lineup,” said Rosa. “I received a lot of ice time, I had a great defensive coach that I worked well with, and it was good overall. I was able to make plays, and I have the chance again to move up to the NAHL level.”
“We are extremely excited to add another veteran defenseman in Joey Rosa,” said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn. “He is an older defenseman that will give us a two-way element. I am a firm believer that you win junior hockey on the back end, and we are trying to add to the quality players and people that we have returning from this past season.”
Rosa becomes the eighth player and fourth defenseman to be tendered by the IceRays for the 2017-18 season. He joins Dahl and Wilhelm, goaltender Chad Veltri of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U18 (T1EHL), forwards John Moncovich and Brandon Osmundson of the Hampton Roads Whalers (USPHL), defenseman Chris Wilkie of the Omaha AAA Lancers 16U (NAPHL), and forward Bud Winter of the St. Louis AAA Blues U18 (T1EHL). Rosa has been to this level before and believes this opportunity with the IceRays is another shot at the NAHL with the right organization fit.
“This is a very good league,” said Rosa. “You’ve got to get used to it and be able to keep up, and it’s where I want to be. Everything I’ve heard [about the IceRays] seems like a really good fit. That’s what I was looking for and to come in and play my role as an older defenseman. I feel more ready for the league and want to make a bigger impact for next season.”
Rise with the IceRays and get ready for next season with a 2017-18 IceRays Season Membership. Call the IceRays at 361-814-PUCK to reserve your seat for next season. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), YouTube (IceRays TV), Instagram (CorpusChristiIceRays), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).