St. Cloud, MN- The SCSU Huskies have filled the void in their goaltender position with the commitment of Ontario Junior Hockey League goaltender James Gray. It was announced by player advisor firm A1 Hockey on May 4th that Gray had committed to the Huskies. Gray also announced via Twitter on May 4th,” I am honoured and thrilled to announce my commitment to further my education and play NCAA Division I hockey at SCSU Huskies men’s hockey. It’s been a long journey and I can’t wait for what is to come as a Husky!”
The team press release noted “For me after visiting the school and meeting all the staff, players, personnel, everybody involved with the hockey program and the school itself I was absolutely blown away with the culture and values of the school. It’s a place where I can step in and work and be around truly great people that are dedicated to my development as a player and a person,” he explained.
“As soon as I stepped on campus I knew right away it was the place for me and I couldn’t be more proud to have this opportunity to fulfill my dream of playing college hockey at one of the top programs in the entire nation. It is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get started and go to work in the fall.”
The 19-year-old left-catching native of Toronto, Ontario was recently named the league’s top goaltender following the 2021-22 season. The 6’2″ 187 pound Gray backstopped the North York Rangers to a 38-13-2 record and a second-place finish in the OJHL South Division. He finished the season with a 25-9-2 record with 3 shutouts,.931 SV% and a league-best 1.96 GAA . He was also named to the OJHL First All-Star Team.
“James has meant a lot to the NYR program and culture. He has been a leader on and off the ice and conducts himself like a pro. We are so excited for Jimmy and his commitment to St. Cloud. James is one of our hardest working players,” head coach Geoff Schomogyi explained. “He is a competitor, that is constantly driving to get better. It’s no surprise that his hard work has paid off with a Division 1 commitment.”
Due to COVID, Gray did not compete during the 2020-21 season but used that time to train with Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender coach Andy Chiodo and the work paid off rebounding from a season in 2019-20 where Gray was hampered by injuries and posted a 3.65 GAA and .897 SV% with three shutouts.
During the 2018-19 season, Gray competed for the Toronto Nationals U18 AAA team of the Greater Toronto Hockey League that won the league championship, and Gray was named OHL finals MVP, OHF Midget AAA Championship Finals MVP, and the Telus Cup Finals MVP.
Gray was recently listed as the sixth-ranked player by Neutral Zone, an amateur scouting service in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. At 6’2″ 187, Gray has the prototype size of today’s goaltender and carries a good glove, outstanding quickness, and lateral movement. He’s been described as making tough saves look easy.
The addition of Gray was made necessary by the departures of senior goaltender, David Hrenak and senior to be Joey Lamoreaux who entered the transfer portal and will play for Alaska Anchorage in 2022-23.
Gray is the second player from the OJHL to commit to the Huskies in the past week as defenseman, Kaleb Tiessen of the Burlington Cougars announced his commitment to SCSU for the 2023-24 season on April 24th.