CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are proud to announce the signing of forward Brandon Osmundson from the Hampton Roads Whalers of the U.S. Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Elite for the 2017-18 season.
“After playing in Virginia my whole life, it’s something special to me when a team, especially from a higher league, notices how I’m playing, especially when it’s my favorite and go-to team,” said Osmundson. “So this is definitely something special.”
Osmundson, 18, burst on to the scene this season with the Whalers, earning 26 goals and 68 assists for 94 points with 39 penalty minutes, five power play goals and one shorthanded goal through 44 games, and with 10 more points in five playoff games breached the 100-point threshold in just 49 contests. The Chesapeake, Va., native earned the USPHL Elite scoring title while also leading the league in assists and picking up 24 power play points. He’s also a two-time USPHL Elite Star of the Week on September 26 and January 9. Osmundson developed through the Whalers system, earning 31 goals and 54 assists for 85 points with 30 penalty minutes through 44 games with the USP3HL franchise last season while also finishing the season leading the league in assists.
The 5-foot-8, 150-pound center is the second player to tender with the IceRays for next season and the fourth player to continue the relationship with the Hampton Roads Whalers, including alum Regen Cavanagh and current player Jayson DiMizio. Osmundson joins linemate John Moncovich on next year’s protected list, and the two go beyond just being teammates. The tandem have led the Whalers in scoring for their respective leagues over the last two seasons, and they’ve also been housemates. That chemistry is what the IceRays hope to garner, but the comfort will help both Osmundson and Moncovich make the transition to the NAHL.
“It’s going to be much easier, especially because we’ve both lived together for the past three years. We both pretty much follow each other. We click really well, so the chemistry is really high between us. It just makes for a smoother transition coming with someone you know.”
“Brandon is a highly-skilled center that fits our plan for next year,” said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn. “He has been loyal to the organization, participating in three camps and flying down to practice with us during the season. ‘Os’ had a terrific year leading the USPHL Elite in scoring, and we are looking to catch a little lightning in a bottle after tendering his linemate earlier this season. We are expecting ‘Os’ to put on a little weight and strength over this summer, but we look at him being a two-year contributor with NCAA Division I potential.”
Osmundson becomes the seventh player and third forward to be tendered by the IceRays for the 2017-18 season. He joins Moncovich, defenseman Christian Dahl of the St. Louis AAA Selects 18U (NAPHL), goaltender Chad Veltri of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U18 (T1EHL), defenseman Trevor Wilhelm of the St. Louis Jr. Blues (NA3HL), defenseman Chris Wilkie of the Omaha AAA Lancers 16U (NAPHL), and forward Bud Winter of the St. Louis AAA Blues U18 (T1EHL). Osmundson hopes to bring his playmaking abilities and point production when he departs for Corpus Christi next season while bringing a winning mentality.
“The atmosphere [in Corpus Christi] is really fantastic, and I’m excited for that,” said Osmundson. “I’ve been part of winning seasons here, so I’m ready to bring a winning attitude to Corpus Christi. I’m just excited for it all: a great fan base, a fresh start with a new organization, new coaches, new players. Just everything.”
The IceRays continue their stretch with the Wichita Falls Wildcats on Thursday, Mar. 9 at 7:05 p.m. from the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The IceRays return to the American Bank Center on Wednesday, Mar. 15 for a single-game meeting with the Shreveport Mudbugs. Join the IceRays in their push for the 2017 Robertson Cup Playoffs and pick up seats for the final games of the 2016-17 season by calling 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).