(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today that forward Lindsay Sparks has returned to the Rush for next season. Sparks becomes the third forward signed for next season, and is the third player to return to the Black Hills.
“We’re obviously very excited to have Lindsay return for next season. He was someone that we focused on a lot last year when we tried to get him from Orlando because of what we saw from him in the year prior with Missouri,” said Rush Head Coach Mark DeSantis. “When we finally acquired Lindsay, he was everything we thought he would be, and he adds another weapon with Ryan Walters and Brett Perlini signed for next season. Offensively, Lindsay brings everything. We’re looking for a great year from Lindsay, and so should he.”
Sparks came to the Rush after a trade for future considerations that eventually sent Spencer Pommells to the Orlando Solar Bears at the end of the season. The 5’9”, 180-pound forward racked up 14 points (6 G, 8 Ast) in 33 games in Orlando before he came to the Black Hills. Once acquired, Sparks was an offensive power house, registering almost a point-per-game average by notching 10 goals and 18 assists for 28 points in 31 games. In the season prior, Sparks put together a career campaign with the Missouri Mavericks with highs in every statistical category: 22 goals, 35 assists, and 57 points in 62 games.
“In talking with Coach DeSantis at the end of the year, I obviously loved playing here and loved Desi and the whole staff. I’m excited to get back and have a good start to the season,” Sparks said of his return to the Rush. “Coach DeSantis and I get along really well. We see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, and I value his opinion and he values mine. It makes for a great relationship with what we see on the ice. We fell short of the playoffs last year, so we’re hoping to turn that around this season, but a good start is key. If you’re not careful, you can get behind early in this league, so I’m looking to help this team start well in the standings and put ourselves in a good position for the playoffs come March and April.”
Heading into his fourth season of professional hockey, Sparks, 25, has played his entire career in the ECHL, recording 122 points (45 G, 77 Ast) in 173 career games with the Rush, Fort Wayne Komets, Cincinnati Cyclones, Missouri Mavericks, South Carolina Stingrays, the former Greenville Road Warriors, and the Orlando Solar Bears. Before turning pro, the Oakville, Ontario native skated with the NCAA’s University of Michigan Wolverines in 83 games over the course of four seasons.
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