NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – The Texas Brahmas have added two more players with the signing of Brahmas draft picks Matt Araujo ('97) and Bryan Whelan ('97), both of whom will be attending Lone Star Brahmas NAHL Main Camp later this month. Araujo was taken in the 1st round (as well as drafted by Lone Star in the NAHL Draft) and Whelan was selected in the 4th round by Head Coach Al Rooney after both players had standout seasons playing for the Long Island Royals last year.
“As with some previously announced signings, these are ‘conditional’ signings, contingent upon whether or not they stick with the NAHL team,” Rooney said. “We have several players, including some returners, that will be attending NAHL camps over the next few weeks and if they make those teams we will be ecstatic for their success, but if they do not, they have a place to land on their feet and I feel they can be real difference makers at this level.”
Araujo (6’2”, 200) is coming off a very successful season spent with the Long Island Royals in the MET League where he earned ‘Defenseman of the Year' honors while also serving as the team captain. In 44 games he notched 10 goals and 31 points and will provide the Brahmas with skills at both ends of the ice. “Matt attended our Pre-Draft camp in Chicago and really had a strong showing,” Rooney said. “He was physical in his own end, patient and skilled in the offensive zone, just a real good mix of skills as well as mature decisions. And it paid off for him with him being selected in the NAHL draft.” With this signing, the Brahmas have ensured that they will be the beneficiary of Araujo talents this upcoming season at either level.
Whelan (5’9”,155) was teammates with Araujo last season on the Royals and was an offensive juggernaut for them as he racked up 55 points in just 42 games, including an eye-opening 36 goals on the year to finish the season at a near goal per game pace. Whelan was also in attendance at the Brahmas Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago and really caught the coaches' attention. “Bryan was a guy who was a bit of an unknown commodity when he came to Chicago,” Rooney explained. “We obviously knew his stats were fantastic but we didn’t know as much about him as a player overall. But his play really jumped out at us as a coaching staff and demanded that we pay attention, what with the speed he brings every shift, playmaking ability, hustle, all of it. He demonstrated ability that led us to believe that he can be a difference maker at either level and he will have the chance to earn the right to do so at Main Camp in the coming weeks.”
The Brahmas roster now sits at 12 players for the coming NA3HL season. It’s also expected to grow as several more players look to be added after completion of the Brahmas NAHL Main Camp, which is held in Detroit from July 23rd to the 26th. The NA3HL Training Camp will kick off in Mid-August as the Brahmas prepare for the NA3HL season in their quest for the Silver Cup Championship.