ICEMEN ANNOUNCE FIRST PLAYER SIGNING OF 2018-2019
The Jacksonville Icemen, proud affiliate of the NHL Winnipeg Jets and AHL Manitoba Moose kicked off the 2018-19 Season this morning by making 2 announcements.
First, the Icemen announced that Team President Bob Ohrablo has been selected by the ECHL Board of Governors as co-recipient of the 2017-18 ECHL Executive of the Year award, along with Toledo Walleye General Manager Neil Neukam and then announcing their FIRST player signing for the season.
Ohrablo was instrumental in bringing hockey back to Jacksonville and guided the team to finishing second in group ticket sales and fourth in attendance in the 27-team ECHL in it’s inaugural season. The team’s non-profit of the night program was sold for 32 of 36 games, while the team’s own non-profit, the Icemen Foundation, raised more than $61,000 while making more than 100 community appearances.
“I am honored that the ECHL Board has recognized not only myself, but our organization with this honor” said Ohrablo. “Our investment partners led by Ron Geary, who believed that Jacksonville could support pro hockey, our staff directed by Executive Vice President Scott Einhorn who worked hard to insure this success, our corporate sponsors who supported the new team, and our wonderful and passionate fans who gave the Icemen one of the strongest debuts in ECHL history–this award would not be possible without you all. We are just getting started. Toledo is known for a long-standing history of excellence in this league and I’m proud to share this honor with Neil.”
With more than 30 years’ experience in the pro sports and entertainment business, Ohrablo’s career has spanned six professional hockey teams including teams in the NHL, American Hockey League, International Hockey League, and ECHL. While at the Florida Panthers (NHL), Ohrablo led major growth in sponsorship, which contributed to the team being named the 2008 Sports Business Weekly Business Stanley Cup winner. Ohrablo also helped bring hockey back to Orlando, where the Solar Bears were leaders in the ECHL in many major revenue areas during his tenure.
Then the Icemen announced that they signed Cameron Critchlow.
The Summerside, Prince Edward Island native was a leader both on and off the ice for Jacksonville last season, wearing the ‘A’ in his rookie season and participating in numerous community efforts. The 5’10”, 189-pound forward skated in 67 games collecting 31 points (12G, 19A) for Jacksonville.
“I’m really looking forward to returning for a second season in Jax,” said Critchlow. “For me, it was a no-brainer to return and play in front of the best fans in the ECHL. [We’re] eager to get things started and get ourselves in the playoffs this season.”
Prior to turning pro, Critchlow played five seasons at the University of New Brunswick where he was a three-time University Cup Champion. Following his final collegiate season, he skated in 26 games for the Adelaide Adrenaline of the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) notching 43 points (22G, 21A.) In his short stint in the AIHL, Critchlow participated in the AIHL All-Star Game and was named AIHL MVP.
“When you start a roster from scratch like we did last year, you don’t always know what you’re going to get,” said Head Coach Jason Christie. “You hope to get a guy like Critch–a hard-worker who the rest of the locker room looks up to. He’s a great hockey player, but more importantly, he’s a great guy and that’s the foundation we want to build this team upon.”
Jacksonville opens it’s second season at home against the South Carolina Stingrays on Saturday, October 13th at 7:00 p.m. Single-game tickets go on sale in September.
CAMERON CRITCHLOW GP G A TP PIM + / –
2012-13 Univ. of New Brunswick USports 28 7 8 15 66 8
2013-14 Univ. of New Brunswick USports 28 9 11 20 16 11
2014-15 Univ. of New Brunswick “C” USports 28 6 12 18 38 11
2015-16 Univ. of New Brunswick “C” USports 25 4 5 9 33
2016-17 Univ. of New Brunswick “C” USports 23 3 7 10 14
Adelaide Adrenaline “A” AIHL 26 22 21 43 18
Adelaide Falcons IHSA Premier 11 24 25 49 4
2017-18 Jacksonville Icemen “A” ECHL 67 12 19 31 66 -2