ESTERO, Fla. - Florida Everblades General Manager Craig Brush, along with Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach Brad Ralph announced today they have agreed to terms with defensemen Brandon Hickey and Austin Crossley for the 2022-23 season.
Hickey, 26, joins the Blades after four seasons in the American Hockey League. Drafted 64th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 2014 NHL Draft, Hickey joined the Rochester Americans for the 2018-19 season. In 61 games with Rochester over two seasons, he tallied two goals and nine assists. In the 2020-21 campaign, Hickey played 15 contests for the Chicago Wolves, finishing with one goal and one assist. On loan to the Henderson Silver Knights and the Abbotsford Canucks for the 2021-22 season, Hickey collectively tallied one goal and three assists in 28 games playing for the two organizations.
Before turning professional, the Leduc, Alberta native spent four seasons playing collegiately at Boston University from 2014 through 2018. After helping BU to the 2015 NCAA championship game, Hickey served as an alternate captain for the final two months of the 2016-17 season and was the team captain for the 2017-18 campaign. In three of his four collegiate seasons, he ranked in the top two among the Terriers in blocked shots. Hickey led Hockey East in blocked shots with 49, as a freshman, during the 2014-15 season. Hickey accumulated 21 goals, 33 assists and 132 penalty minutes in 147 total games with the Terriers.
Crossley, 23, joins the Everblades after playing for the Utah Grizzlies in the 2021-22 season. He played in 42 regular season games, tallying one goal and six assists. In the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs, Crossley finished with one assist in 13 games. The defenseman will be heading into his second season in the ECHL.
Before his pro career, the Fort St. John, British Columbia native played four seasons in the Western Hockey League. Crossley played for the Prince Albert Raiders and the Prince George Cougars throughout those four seasons. Collectively, he tallied eight goals and 13 assists in 159 games. Crossley joined the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League for the 2019-20 season and then to Sweden with Olofstroms IKfor the 2020-21 season. He registered two goals and six assists in 39 games with the Force.
The Florida Everblades 25th Anniversary home opening game is October 29 at 7:00pm against the Jacksonville Icemen at Hertz Arena. The night will get started by raising the 2022 Kelly Cup Championship banner.