CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are proud to announce the signing of defenseman Trevor Wilhelm from the St. Louis Jr. Blues of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) to a tender contract for the 2017-18 season.
“It’s definitely good knowing I have something in place for next year, and it really was a no-brainer signing with the IceRays,” said Wilhelm. “When I was down there earlier in the year, the coaching staff was great, the billets were great. Everyone treated me well down there, and I love the organization.
Wilhelm, 18, has started his junior career on a strong note with the Jr. Blues, earning six goals and six assists for 12 points with 12 penalty minutes and a +5 rating through 14 games this season. He’s already claimed one NA3HL honor, earning the Bauer Hockey Midwest Division Star of the Week for the week of October 18 after recording two goals and two assists for four points with a +5 rating during a home sweep of the Wisconsin Whalers. The St. Louis, Mizz., native worked his way through the St. Louis AAA Blues U18 program in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League (T1EHL) prior to joining the NAHL affiliated league, putting up 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points with 70 penalty minutes through 60 games between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns.
The 5-foot-8, 170-pound defenseman earned a spot at IceRays Training Camp following a strong showing during the 2016 Main Camp in Fraser, Mich., to impress the coaching staff. Though Wilhelm didn’t earn a spot on the final 25-man roster prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, he gained a lot of perspective both on the organization and his style of play, which has translated to success in his first junior campaign.
“Playing against older guys in the NAHL definitely helped and benefitted me going back to the NA3HL. They’re both junior hockey, and I’m playing against older and stronger guys here, too. With the NAHL being a little bit faster, I’ve been able to compete well here, and that’s been helping me get ready to make that transition come next year.”
“Trevor showed very good hockey sense and poise with the puck at our camps,” said IceRays Head Coach Brad Flynn. “He has a great attitude and competes. At the start of the season we spoke to Trevor, and we felt his best option was to go to the St. Louis Jr. Blues and develop with a lot of playing time. We are very pleased with his progression, and it was an easy decision to tender Trevor.”
Wilhelm becomes just the second player to be tendered by the IceRays for the 2017-18 season, joining goaltender Chad Veltri of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U18 (T1EHL) on the 2017-18 protected list. After getting a taste of what Corpus Christi and the IceRays have to offer, Wilhelm is excited to return to the Coastal Bend after getting a well-received taste of NAHL play.
“I really liked it a lot down there,” said Wilhelm. “The guys down there were awesome. Everything was just the best and made my first junior hockey experience the best it could be.”
The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:05 p.m. to continue their season series with the Lone Star Brahmas. Season memberships for the 2016-17 season are still available with full and partial season plans. 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), Snapchat (@goicerays), and Periscope (@goicerays).