(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush is pleased to announce the return of a veteran leader and franchise record-holder. Head Coach and GM Joe Ferras has re-signed Jesse Schultz, who returns for his fifth season in the Black Hills.
“Getting Schultzy back in a Rush uniform has been a priority all summer long,” said Head Coach and GM Joe Ferras. “He’s led our team in scoring over the last three seasons with almost 200 points and over a point-per-game pace. He’s a constant threat offensively and a player who’s played at the highest levels, including the National Hockey League, that brings a ton of experience and leadership into our locker room.”
“I’m very excited to be returning to Rapid City for my fifth season,” said Schultz on his return. “I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else in the league. I enjoy playing in front of such a great fan base and atmosphere, and can’t wait to get back to it in October.”
Schultz had a career year last season that saw him shatter his personal bests for assists, points, and plus/minus. He finished in the top-five in three statistical categories in the CHL: 5th in points (85), T-3rd in assists (62), and 1st in plus/minus (+44), the latter two of which are new Rush single-season franchise records. When added with his 23 goals, Schultz was the leading scorer on the Rush roster, 31 points ahead of the next best player. He also became an “Iron Man” for the second time in his professional career, playing in all 66 regular season games, and played in all 7 of the Rush’s opening round playoff series against the Mallards, scoring 2 goals along with 2 assists for 4 points. At the conclusion of the season, Schultz was named a finalist for the CHL’s Most Valuable Player Award in recognition of his stellar season with the Rush.
“Obviously the regular season went well for our team, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the job done in the playoffs against Quad City,” added Schultz. “My goal as a veteran leader is to help in any way I can to get this team back to its championship form. I know Joe is bringing in quality hockey players that are going to be a huge part of our quest to bring a championship back to the Black Hills.”
“Schultzy’s hockey IQ and game awareness puts him among the elite players in the league,” added Ferras. “What separates Schultzy from other top players in the league is his commitment to the game and his determination and will to get better every day. Having several new and former players under contract this season, we expect Schultzy to take another step in his leadership role, where his experience and passion for the game will be invaluable to our locker room and his teammates.”
A native of Strasbourg, Saskatchewan, Schultz, 31, enters his 12th season of professional hockey, and his fifth in the CHL, all with the Rush. As a professional, Schultz has 579 career points (233 G, 346 Ast) in 676 games played in 6 different leagues, including a two-game stint with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks in 2006. From 2003-2009, he spent 7 seasons in the AHL, and won the Calder Cup Championship in the 2007-08 season with the Chicago Wolves. Prior to playing professionally, Schultz spent four seasons in junior hockey in the WHL, playing for the Tri-City Americans, the Prince Albert Raiders, and the Kelowna Rockets.
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