Jr. Blues forward Frankie Melton is spending the week in Corpus Christi, TX skating with the IceRays. This is Melton's second stint at Tier II this season after spending some time in Janesville skating with the Jets earlier this year. Head Coach Chris Flaugher said, "It's never easy when one of your top players for a weekend, but that's why we are here. We have been able to foster some relationships with some Tier II teams that allow our players to make this jump, even if just temporarily during the season."
Melton is scheduled to be back with the Jr. Blues after this week but. Flaugher continued, "When you spend a week with a Tier II team, you always have a chance of staying. That's up to the Frankie and the IceRays. At this point he's been affiliated by the IceRays. That means that they can move him up and down as long as they need him. If he continues to play well then maybe he works his way into their line-up for the season."
The IceRays posted the following story:
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays have recalled affiliate forward Frankie Melton from the St. Louis Jr. Blues of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL). This is his first experience in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), and he is the second affiliate to be recalled by the IceRays this season.
Melton, 17, has played 18 games with the Jr. Blues this season, recording 16 goals and nine assists for 25 points with 43 penalty minutes and a minus-two. He currently leads the Jr. Blues in goals and points, and he ranks amongst the league leaders in goals and points: second in goals and tied for 11th in points. The St. Louis, Mizz. native comes into the weekend on a six-game point streak, recording eight goals and four assists in that span.
“Frankie has been dominant to date in the NA3HL as a 17-year-old,” said IceRays Head Coach John Becanic. “It is typically a league that is dominated by older players, but Frankie has found a way to find the back of the net early and often. I am excited to see what he can do this weekend at our level in the absence of [Joe] Chitwood and [Connor] Kelly.”
The 5-foot-7, 165-pound forward will fill-in for forward Joe Chitwood, who is still serving his six-game suspension, and forward Connor Kelly, who has been suspended one game for his game misconduct during the team’s 3-1 win over the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on Wednesday, November 12. He joins defenseman Keenan Spillum as the only 17-year-old skaters on the roster.
“This is a great challenge for me, and you have to step up,” said Melton. “You have to work hard and stay strong. The hardest part is being away from home, but you just have to battle harder.”
Melton is expected to be sent back to the NA3HL after this weekend’s games. He will wear number 18.
The IceRays return to action at home on Friday, November 21 at 7:05 p.m. when they host the Odessa Jackalopes in the first of a two-game set from the American Bank Center.. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsJuice.com, FASTHockey.com, and on 87.7 FM in-arena. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for season and individual ticket details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com. Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition, stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/CorpusChristiIceRays), Twitter (@goicerays), and YouTube (IceRays TV).