CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – Corpus Christi IceRays defenseman Simon Butala has been recalled by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the team announced today. Butala joins the RoughRiders for four games prior to the holiday break.
“Exciting is really the only word for it,” said Butala. “I’m happy to go back up with the guys. I’ve been there before, and I really liked it. I’m just hoping to play as well as I can.”
Butala, 17, has played 14 games with the IceRays this season, recording five assists with 22 penalty minutes and a -6 rating. The time spent so far has paid off for Butala, who has seen improvements both on and off the ice concerning his skill and preparation regiment. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenseman was drafted 182nd overall (11th Round) of the 2015 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Draft following a stint in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers and joined the IceRays on October 7 from the Tier I level, appearing in two games with the RoughRiders to start the 2015-16 season. His time in Corpus Christi so far has aided his development both on and off the ice.
“It’s developed me as a player on the ice to be a more mature decision-maker. Off the ice, it’s developed my workout habits and learning how to work harder and play smarter. I’m excited to see how I’ve improved compared from last season and even earlier this year until now.”
“We are happy that Simon gets to play some games in Cedar Rapids,” said IceRays head coach John Becanic. “Coach [Mark] Carlson was good about sending Simon to us for a year of development, so it was easy to return the favor. We look forward to Simon returning after the holidays ready to help make a push for the playoffs.”
This will be his third stint in the USHL over the last two seasons. The University of Maine commit played 11 games with the Musketeers during the 2014-15 season, recording 50 penalty minutes. Butala is expected to rejoin the IceRays following the holiday break for their home series against the Odessa Jackalopes beginning on December 29 at the American Bank Center.
The IceRays return home on Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:11 p.m. against the Amarillo Bulls at the American Bank Center. 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).