(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, announced today that rookie forwards Anthony Flaherty and Danny Smith have joined the Rapid City Rush for the upcoming 2017-18 ECHL season.
Flaherty, 25, comes to the Rush after the completion of his college hockey career. The 5’9”, 185-pound forward played four years in the NCAA-III ranks with Norwich University, tabulating career totals of 26 goals, 38 assists, and 64 points in 101 games. As a senior last year, the South Boston, Massachusetts native was the fourth-leading scorer on the Cadets roster, and notched career-highs in every category, scoring 12 goals along with 19 assists for 31 points, helping Norwich University to the 2017 NCAA-III National Championship, the university’s fourth in program history. He scored a goal and went +1 in the title game, which was a 4-1 win over Trinity College.
“This is a dream come true. I had a lot of success last season and my college team had a lot of success too, and I think that vaulted me to this opportunity. I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the Rush,” said Flaherty on his first professional contract. “What I’ll bring to Rapid City is high energy. It’s no secret that I’m a small guy, but I play a big man’s game. I think also I’m a good passer and have good vision on the ice. Most importantly, I try my best to be a good team guy. Being good for the locker room I think goes a long way during a season than statistics. The biggest thing I’ve heard about Rapid City is the fan base: there are teams that don’t have nearly the following that this team does, so to have that passion backing you every night is incredible. I’m very excited to start my pro career in a city with such a passion for hockey.”
“Anthony was recommended to me by Iowa Wild Assistant Coach, Dave Cundiff, who skates with Anthony back in Massachusetts” said Rush Head Coach Daniel Tetrault on Flaherty. “Anthony had a great career at Norwich College, especially last year as a senior where he averaged a point-per-game. He’ll be a speedy forward that can create a ton of havoc for the opposition. I’m looking forward to seeing him in action this season.”
Smith, 25, comes to the Rush after the completion of his college hockey career. The 5’11”, 185-pound forward played four seasons in the NCAA with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and racked up career totals of 20 goals, 28 assists, and 48 points in 135 games. With the Tigers, he helped the club with 3 consecutive AHA Regular Season Championships, and made the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and 2016. In the 2015 NCAA tournament, Smith was on hand as RIT became the first #16 seed to ever defeat the #1 overall seed in the first round of the tournament, handing Minnesota State-Mankato a 2-1 loss in the contest. Prior to playing college hockey, the Edmonton, Alberta native registered 138 points (62g-76ast) in 176 games over parts of four seasons with the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the AJHL.
“This whole process happened very fast, which adds to how excited I am to be joining the Rapid City Rush. It’s a big relief for my parents, that’s for sure,” said Smith on coming to the Black Hills. “Looking at everything I have with this organization, the new affiliate, and new coaching staff, this is going to be a great fit. I play a complete 200-foot game. I take care of my defensive zone, but also understand when I can jump in on an offensive rush. I play a gritty and fast style, which not only matches the philosophy that Coach Tetrault wants to instill in this team, but also made Rapid City stand out to me the most when I signed. I want to get right into things and
help this team get back to its winning ways. I’m not used to long summers, so October can’t come fast enough!”
“I’m excited to have Danny on my roster as well. Danny had a great college career at RIT and I’ve heard nothing but great things about him from everyone I’ve talked to,” Tetrault added on Smith. “Danny is a leader with a great work ethic. He’s a young player that will be hungry to prove himself as an everyday player at the pro level. He’ll add a great dimension to our training camp, and I look forward to having him in Rapid City.”
• The 2017-18 ECHL Schedule is OUT! Head to www.echl.com to see where the Rush play during their 10th anniversary season!
• For more information on Season Ticket Memberships for our 10th anniversary, call 716-7825.