The Amarillo Bulls received some good news on Friday when it was announced that defenseman John Rey was named North American Hockey League Defenseman Of The Month.
Amarillo Bulls defenseman John Rey, 20, is right back where he left off last season and the Amarillo Bulls have followed suit. This season, the native of Turnersville, New Jersey, was named team captain and has made sure his play resembled or has gotten better than his play last season, when he was named as the NAHL Defenseman of the Year. After battling through injury to start the season at the NAHL Showcase, Rey (6’0/180) had his best month of the season to date in December. In 10 games, the third-year NAHL defenseman registered nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) from the blueline and was a +6 during the month in which the Bulls posted a 9-1-0 record to finish the first half of the season on top of the South Division standings.
A season ago, Rey had 51 points and was an astounding +64 on his way to the NAHL Defenseman of the Year award as the Bulls won the South Division regular season and playoff titles. Coming into this season, Rey was named team captain and had some big expectations from his head coach Dennis Williams. “John had a lot of success last season and we knew it would be hard to duplicate that this season, but we know he has that type of ability and drive. He was injured early in the season, but you can’t say enough about the way he has responded this season and lead this team as their captain,” said Williams. “John wants to be the go-to guy and the top guy and he is doing everything in his power to make sure that he and his team are getting better by the day so when the time comes, they are all prepared as much as possible to try and win a Robertson Cup. He comes prepared to play every night and I think bigger and better things are ahead for him. He is going to make a great NCAA Division I defenseman and I think right now it is about improving day by day and finding that right situation for him to move onto the next level.”
Rey understands that as the captain he has to lead in all areas, but he was sure to make the goal clear to his teammates from the start of the season. “I think I came into this year thinking one thing… winning the Robertson Cup. I think last season went really well for me personally and our team, but we fell short of that ultimate goal,” said Rey. “Team success in Amarillo will also bring individual success and we have had a lot of guys earn commitments, so I have a lot of faith in myself, my teammates and the coaching staff that something like that will happen for me. Just want to keep improving, winning games and hopefully something like that will come and take care of itself. I think that if I keep playing well hopefully that NCAA Division I opportunity will be close. We have such a good core of defensemen and I think one of the reasons we are so dangerous from an offensive standpoint, there are so many guys that can contribute. They not only do a great job of keeping the puck out of our own net, but they are also quick to turn the play the other way and transition quickly to offense. I think this season we have a great sense of family with this year’s team. We will do anything for the logo on the jersey. I think as captain it is my job to make sure everyone is doing everything they can to try and win a Robertson Cup. There is a lot of talent and appreciation for one another in the lockerrroom and hopefully we can build on the first half success and translate that into something bigger and better in the second half, which ultimately culminates in a championship.”