(TUCSON, AZ) – The Tucson Roadrunners, AHL affiliate of the Rapid City Rush, announced today that Rush defenseman Michael Young has earned a two-way AHL contract with the Roadrunners for the upcoming season. Young becomes the first player in Rush history to subsequently earn his AHL deal after playing with the Rush.
“When I heard I received a two-way contract I was floored. I’m very blessed and excited for the opportunity to play in the Arizona farm system with the Tucson Roadrunners,” said Young of his two-way AHL contract. “The Rush organization has afforded me a great opportunity to showcase what I’m made of as a hockey player. Working with the coaching staff here for almost two seasons, I’ve grown so much in this game and plan to work just as hard in Tucson this upcoming season.”
Young earns his second AHL contract in just his third season as a professional hockey player. For the Calgary, Alberta native, this is the first time since his rookie season that he is on an AHL contract following the one he received after his collegiate career with the AHL’s Providence Bruins, affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins. He is also no stranger to AHL action, playing in a game with the Milwaukee Admirals after his senior season of college hockey concluded back in the 2013-14 season.
“This is a great opportunity for Michael. To me, I don’t think he received a fair chance with his first AHL deal, but we were fortunate that he came out here to Rapid City. I truly believe he can be a full-time American Hockey League player,” said Rush Head Coach Mark DeSantis. “This is part of our job in this league: we develop players so that they ascend to the higher leagues of this sport. I’m very happy and excited for him.”
“We are very excited for Younger and this great opportunity for him to prove that he is an everyday player at the American Hockey League level. He has been a tremendous leader for this organization since his arrival in Rapid City two years ago,” said Rush General Manager Joe Ferras. “Entering our second season as the ECHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes, and with their AHL team making the move west to Tucson, we firmly believe this relationship will flourish. As an organization, with our contracted and non-contracted players alike, we take great pride in putting them in a first-class situation so that they can develop both on and off the ice in order to reach their goals of playing professional hockey at the highest level.”
Michael Young headlines a core of leadership on both the Rush blue line and in the locker room for next season. In his Rush career, the 6’3”, 215-pound defenseman has appeared in 43 contests, scoring 4 goals and 15 assists for 19 points, chipping in an additional 2 goals, 4 assists, and 6 points in 12 playoff contests. Before turning pro, Young put together a strong four-year career in the NCAA with the University of Nebraska-Omaha, registering 68 points (13 G, 55 Ast) in 148 games with the Mavericks.
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