(Photo Credit: Kami Knight Photography)
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have signed forward John Moncovich from the Hampton Roads Whalers of the U.S. Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Elite to a tender contract for the 2017-18 season.
“I’m super excited about the opportunity,” said Moncovich on the signing. “I know a couple of former players and [Mason] Krueger as well as Jayson DiMizio, so I’ve heard nothing but great things about the organization. It was a simple choice for me. I can’t wait to get down there and even go to camp. To be part of the organization is just awesome in general.”
Moncovich, 18, has appeared in 36 games with Hampton Roads during the 2016-17 season, recording 46 goals and 24 assists for 70 points with 22 penalty minutes, eight power play goals, and nine game-winning goals. The Wilmington, N.C. native has points in 29 of 36 games including 21 multi-point games in his first season at the elite level while sitting second in scoring among all USPHL Elite players. He earned USPHL Elite Star of the Week on December 19 following a nine-point weekend and his fifth hat-trick of the season. Moncovich was also named USP3HL Player of the Year after finishing second in the league in scoring with 92 points along with a league-best 52 goals.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound forward becomes the third player from the Hampton Roads Whalers linked with the IceRays organization, developing a strong relationship between the two organizations. Former forward Regen Cavanagh became the first Whalers skater to join the IceRays during the 2014-15 season as an affiliate player, and current forward Jayson DiMizio skated with the IceRays during the 2016 Virginia Open Camp in July and later made the roster. The relationship not only helps the organizations but also the players selecting their next place to play, and that includes Moncovich.
“It helps a lot. Brandon Osmundson came down for a visit, so I got to talk to him about that. I talked to Regen and Jayson about [Corpus Christi], and it just made everything tremendously easier. I was really happy about that.
“John is someone we identified at our Virginia camp as a big, rangy winger with an above average scoring touch,” said IceRays head coach Brad Flynn. “He has a dangerous shot, and by scoring 46 goals in 35 games so far this season as an 18-year-old has proven he can score against older players. The Hampton Roads Whalers have done an excellent job developing players, including Regen Cavanagh and Jayson DiMizio, and we are very excited to have John tender with us for next season.”
Moncovich becomes the sixth player and second forward to be tendered by the IceRays for the 2017-18 season. He joins 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). Size is the focus for Moncovich heading into next season while also improving his all-around game for the next step of his hockey career.
“I’m looking to gain some weight and definitely get bigger and better,” said Moncovich. “I want to provide some depth to the lineup, a scoring touch for them and put pucks in the back of the net. I’m an offensive guy, so I need to work on my defense. And hopefully just win games.”
The IceRays and Bulls go back into action on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:05 p.m. to begin the final weekend of the season series from the Amarillo Civic Center. The IceRays return home to the American Bank Center on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:05 p.m. to begin a two-game weekend set against the Odessa Jackalopes. 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).