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KOSTOLANSKY RETURNS, TULUPOV JOINS THE FRAY

Thursday, July 2nd
KOSTOLANSKY RETURNS, TULUPOV JOINS THE FRAY

(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush announced another pair of signings for the upcoming 2015-16 ECHL season, this time on the defensive side of the puck. Brett Kostolansky returns for a third season in the Black Hills, while Kirill Tulupov becomes the first new player on the Rush roster.

“It’s exciting to bring players like Brett and Kirill into the fold for next season,” said Associate Coach of the Rush Mark De Santis. “Brett coming back for his third season with our organization brings us a great leader on the ice, and coupled with the vast experience of Kirill, our blueline looks very strong in the early parts of this offseason.”

A CHL Rookie of the Year Finalist just two seasons ago, Kostolansky comes back to Rapid City after a stalwart second season as a professional. The 5’10”, 180-pound blueliner played in 60 games for the Rush last season, notching a lone goal along with 13 helpers for a 14-point campaign, while going +5 on the ice. He did not miss a single playoff game as well, adding an extra 3 points (G, 2 Ast) in the 13 games played against both the Quad City Mallards and the Allen Americans.

“I love the coaches, players, and most importantly the community. There’s no support in minor-pro hockey better than Rapid City, and that’s why I decided to come back,” said Kostolansky on his return for a third season. “Being a third year professional, leadership is part of the territory. I know now what it takes to be successful at the pro level on an individual basis, as well as a team.” When asked about the evolution of his game, Kostolansky continued: “The coaches have given me every opportunity to succeed at this level. Add in the confidence you gain each year that you play this game and it helps your game build all around. I look forward to doing whatever I can to help my team succeed next season.”

A native of Denver, Colorado, Kostolansky, now 25, has played all 126 regular season games of his professional career with the Rush organization. In his time with the Rush, he has scored 3 goals along with 30 assists for 33 career points with a +19 rating. Prior to playing professionally, Kostolansky spent four seasons in the NCAA with the University of New Hampshire, taking home a 2009-10 Hockey East Regular Season Title, and appearing in the 2013 Regional Finals of the NCAA’s Frozen Four.

“Getting Kosto back is huge for our defense corps. He’s committed to us, and we’re just as committed to him,” added De Santis on Kostolansky. “To the coaching staff, he was our MVP last season. He came to work every single day with an outstanding work ethic. He is a true professional: always asking questions, always willing to learn, and coming through for his team when they needed him the most.”

“Teammates of mine have told me what a first class organization Rapid City is. When I played against this team last season with Wichita, I got to see that, and it made me want to come and play for the Rush,” Tulupov explained on his decision to come to the Black Hills. On his contributions to the team, Tulupov added: “I am always working on everything and trying to be that complete all-around player. I felt that at the end of last season I became that. Ultimately, I’m always working hard and I’m looking for my ‘harvesting season’ as a professional as I continue toward my goal to play in the National Hockey League.”

Kirill Tulupov joins the Rush organization after his second season in his ECHL career, which was spent with the Wichita Thunder. While bluelining in Kansas, the 6’3”, 230-pound defenseman racked up 21 points (7 G, 14 Ast) in 63 games played. A native of Moscow, Russia, Tulupov, 27, has seen his career take him through Europe, including Denmark where he won a bronze medal, and the KHL, while making stops in North America in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons, the CHL with the Arizona Sundogs, and the ECHL with Wichita and the Gwinnett Gladiators. He played his junior hockey with the QMJHL’s Chicoutimi Sangueneens and Victoriaville Tigres, and was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 2006 NHL Draft (3rd Round-#67 Overall).

“We saw Tulupov many times last year playing against Wichita, and [Coach Ferras] and I really liked his size, skill, and mobility” De Santis continued on Tulupov. “Now that we have a summer of recruiting in the ECHL, we’re looking to bolster our defense corps with much-needed size. Talking with Kirill, he’s very excited about coming to play in front of the great fans of our organization.”

The countdown to the 2015-16 ECHL season continues, as the Rush gear up for a pair of preseason games against their archrivals, the Colorado Eagles. Call the Rush offices at 716-7825 for more details on securing your 2015-16 Season Tickets today!

Other Rush News:

Join Rush Nation for only $10 per game! Call the Rush office at 716-7825 for details, and stay informed on all Rush happenings this summer through the official Rapid City Rush team website, www.RapidCityRush.com, and the Rapid City Rush mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play.

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