(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, is busy putting together the roster for the team’s 10th anniversary season. Here’s an update on who will represent the Black Hills in the 2017-18 ECHL season:
Kenton Miller – 6th Year Pro (VET) – 6’0”, 200 lbs – Redvers, Saskatchewan
Career Stats (AHL/ECHL): 319 GP, 100g-95ast-195pts
Miller comes to the Rush after skating the vast majority of last season with the Elmira Jackals. The 6’0”, 200-pound forward started with the Wheeling Nailers and registered 2 points, a goal and an assist, in 8 games before heading to New York and racking 30 goals, 15 assists, and 45 points in 63 games. Last season, Miller’s fifth as a pro, marked the second time that he reached 30 goals or more in a single campaign.
Logan Nelson – 4th Year Pro – 6’1”, 210 lbs – Rogers, Minnesota
Career Stats (ECHL): 146 GP, 41g-41ast-82pts
Nelson came back to the Rush organization last season after beginning the 2016-17 campaign with the Wichita Thunder. The 6’1”, 210-pound forward played in 18 games with the Thunder and contributed 2 goals, 6 assists, and 8 points before returning to the Black Hills on New Year’s Eve. When he came back, Nelson exploded for the Rush as an offensive threat, averaging just under a point-per-game average with 10 goals, 15 assists, and 25 points in just 31 games.
Nelson was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2012 NHL Draft (5th Rd-#133).
Anthony Collins – 6th Year Pro – 6’4”, 215 lbs – Langley, British Columbia
Career Stats (SPHL/ECHL): 234 GP, 18g-22ast-40pts, 618 PIM
Collins comes back to the Rush after a career year in the Black Hills last season. The 6’4”, 216-pound forward notched a career-high in virtually every statistical category, tallying 8 goals with 6 assists for 14 points, along with 134 PIM in 67 games. Collins achieved a career milestone when he suited up for his 200th professional game on January 7, 2017 against the Utah Grizzlies on the road.
Nick Miglio – 2nd Year Pro – 6’0”, 180 lbs – San Antonio, Texas
Career Stats (ECHL): 56 GP, 7g-12ast-19pts
Miglio comes back to the Rush after skating in his rookie season with the team in the 2016-17 campaign. The 6’0”, 180-pound forward compiled 17 points (7g-10ast) in 49 games before an injury shortened his season. Miglio first played professional hockey with the Allen Americans after he played with his alma mater, Utica College (NCAA-III), and notched his first 2 career points, both assists, in 7 games.
Marcus Ortiz – Rookie – 5’11”, 185 lbs – Garland, Texas
Career Stats (ECHL): 13 GP, 1g-1ast-2pts
Ortiz returns to the Black Hills for his rookie season after starting his professional career as an amateur with the Rush at the end of last season. The 5’11”, 185-pound forward played in 13 games with the Rush and recorded his first professional goal and assist with the team following his collegiate career with SUNY-Fredonia in the NCAA-III ranks. With the Blue Devils, the Garland, Texas native played in 77 games and tallied 28 goals and 26 assists for 54 points.
Darik Angeli – 3rd Year Pro – 6’3”, 203 lbs – Lakewood, Colorado
Career Stats (AHL/ECHL): 121 GP, 20g-26ast-46pts
Angeli comes to the Rush after finishing his second year as a professional, which was spent with four different ECHL teams. He found his scoring stride with the Orlando Solar Bears, racking up 20 points (10g-10ast) in the last 36 games of the season, and added an additional 3 assists in a 7-game opening round playoff series against the Florida Everblades.
Anthony Flaherty – Rookie – 5’9”, 185 lbs – South Boston, Massachusetts
Career Stats (NCAA-III): 101 GP, 26g-38ast-64pts
Flaherty comes to the Rush after the completion of his college hockey career. As a senior last year, he finished as the fourth-leading scorer on the Norwich University Cadets roster, and notched career-highs in every category, scoring 12 goals along with 19 assists for 31 points, helping his alma mater 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.
Danny Smith – Rookie – 5’11”, 185 lbs – Edmonton, Alberta
Career Stats (NCAA): 135 GP, 20g-28ast-48pts
Smith also comes to the Rush after the completion of his college hockey career. He played four seasons in the NCAA with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and 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.
T.J. Sarcona – Rookie – 5'11", 185 lbs – West Islip, New York
Career Stats (ECHL): 12 GP, 4ast
Sarcona comes back to the Rush after finishing last season with the team following the completion of his college career. He played in 12 games with the Rush and notched the first 4 points of his professional career, all assists. Prior to turning pro, he skated with Niagara University in the NCAA, where he played with current Rush teammate Vinny Muto and notched 62 points (25g-37ast) in 137 games. Before attending Niagara, Sarcona played junior hockey with the Amarillo Bulls of the NAHL. He racked up 140 points (55g-85ast) in 163 games, and, while skating with another current Rush teammate, Geoff Fortman, won the 2013 NAHL Robertson Cup Championship.
Ryan Tesink – 4th Year Pro – 6'0", 185 lbs – Saint John, New Brunswick
Career Stats (ECHL): 169 GP, 18g-43ast-61pts, 259 PIM
Tesink joins the Rush for his fourth season as a professional. Last year, he skated with the Wichita Thunder for 68 games, and registered career-highs across the board: 7 goals, 15 assists, 22 points, and 132 PIM. Tesink has played his entire professional career to-date in the ECHL, skating not only with the Thunder, but also with the Quad City Mallards and former Alaska Aces. Prior to playing professionally, Tesink played four seasons in the QMJHL with the Saint John Seadogs and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, and notched 152 points (51g-101ast) in 183 games. With Sain John, he won back-to-back QMJHL Championships in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and also won the CHL Memorial Cup in the 2011 season. Tesink was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 2011 NHL Draft (6th Rd-#162).
Kyle Dutra – Rookie – 6'3", 205 lbs – Mississauga, Ontario
Career Stats (ECHL): 12 GP, 2g-2ast-4pts
Dutra comes to the Rush after his rights were acquired in a future considerations trade with the Norfolk Admirals at the end of last season. He joined Norfolk at the conclusion of his college career and skated in the final 12 games of last season with the Admirals, recording the first 4 points of his career, which were split between 2 goals and 2 assists. Prior to turning pro last season, Dutra played four years of college hockey in the NCAA with Mercyhurst University, and recorded 71 points (32g-39ast) in 147 games over four seasons.
Riley Weselowski – 10th Year Pro (VET) – 6’0”, 192 lbs – Pilot Mound, Manitoba
Career Stats: 519 GP, 32g-149ast-181pts
Weselowski comes back to the Rush after returning last year following a stint with the Cincinnati Cyclones. In his return to the Black Hills last season, the 6’0”, 192-pound blue-liner played in all 72 regular season games and notched 2 goals and 17 assists for 19 points, the latter of which was third amongst defensemen on the team, and lead the Rush with a +6 rating. Weselowski returns to the Rush for the tenth season of his professional career in which all but two have been played with an “R” on his chest. Weselowski holds 11 Rush franchise records, including Games Played (390), +/- rating (+81), and is the all-time leading scorer in team history among defensemen in all three major categories with 27 goals, 126 assists, and 153 points to his credit.
Michael Young – 4th Year Pro – 6’3”, 223 lbs – Calgary, Alberta
Career Stats (AHL/ECHL): 139 GP, 17g-37ast-54pts
Young comes back to the Rush after skating with the club for a second full season, and third time since the team joined the ECHL. He shattered his career-highs in virtually every statistical category last season, playing in 62 games and registering 13 goals and 20 assists for 33 points, along with a +3 rating. He finished the season as the sixth-leading scorer on the Rush roster, and for his efforts was voted to the ECHL All-Star Team that took on the host Adirondack Thunder in the middle of the season.
Geoff Fortman – Rookie – 6’1”, 200 lbs – Crystal Lake, Illinois
Career Stats (ECHL): 9 GP, 4g-4ast-8pts
Fortman comes back to the Rush after beginning his professional career with the club last season. The 6’1”, 200-pound blue-liner splashed right onto the scene for the Rush fresh out of college, registering 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points in just 9 games representing the Black Hills. Fortman made an immediate impact, registering at least one assist in his first three games with the Rush, and finishing with points in his last three games, including a trio of goals in his last two. Prior to joining the Rush, the native of Crystal Lake, Illinois, played 137 games in four years of college hockey with Canisius College in the NCAA. Additionally, he skated with the NAHL’s Amarillo Bulls and won the 2013 Roberston Cup NAHL Championship.
Vinny Muto – Rookie – 6’2”, 210 lbs – Niagara Falls, New York
Career Stats (ECHL): 12 GP, 0g-2ast-2pts
Muto also comes back to the Rush after starting his professional career with the team towards the end of the 2016-17 campaign. The 6’2”, 210-pound defenseman played a dozen games in a Rush uniform after his college career, notching his first two professional assists in the process. Before coming to the Black Hills, the Niagara Falls, New York, native played 136 games over the span of four seasons with Niagara University in the NCAA, registering 12 goals and 38 assists for 50 points with the Purple Eagles. In addition to his collegiate hockey background, Muto also played one season in the USHL that was split between the Lincoln Stars and Sioux Falls Stampede.
Josh Elmes – Rookie – 6'2", 210 lbs – Brandon, Manitoba
Career Stats (SPHL): 43 GP, 6g-13ast-19pts
Elmes joins the Rush after finishing his first season as a professional in the SPHL. He started the season with the Fayetteville FireAntz, playing in 8 games and scoring a goal with 2 assists for 3 points. He was then traded to the Evansville Thunderbolts and added 5 goals, 11 assists, 16 points, and 30 PIM in 35 games. Prior to playing professionally, Elmes jumped around the ranks of junior and college hockey, playing for the OCN Blizzard in the MJHL, the Fargo Force and Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL, the University of Manitoba, and the Moosomin Rangers in the North Central Hockey League.
Brandon Blair – 5th Year Pro – 6'2", 245 lbs – Coral Springs, Florida
Career Stats (FHL/SPHL/ECHL): 209 GP, 8g-25ast-33pts, 674 PIM
Blair comes to the Rush after skating with the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers and the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals. In Pensacola, he played in 39 games and scored 2 goals with 4 assists for 6 points, while also registering 134 PIM, the second-highest single-season total in his career. He skated the final 7 games of the year in Norfolk and added 19 more PIM to his season total. Blair heads into his fifth season as a professional, but his rookie campaign by ECHL standards. He’s skated in both the FHL with the Danville Dashers and Dayton Demonz, with the latter of which he won the 2014 league title, and with Pensacola in the SPHL where he captured his second championship in 2016.
• 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.