(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, announced last night at the team’s open forum with Rush Owner Luke Peterson that Garrett Klotz is the first signed player for the 2018-19 ECHL season.
“I finished my season here last season and loved what Rapid City brought, from the team, to the off-ice situation, and to the community. It’s all great,” said Klotz of his return to the Black Hills. “I’ve lived here all summer too, I just like it that much in Rapid City.”
Klotz ended in Rapid City last season after playing earlier in the season with the Quad City Mallards, Jacksonville IceMen, and Kansas City Mavericks. The 6’5”, 235-pound forward began the season with the Mallards, appearing in 11 games and registering 26 PIM before playing in another 15 games with the IceMen, where he added another assist and 57 PIM. After playing in a trio of games with the Mavericks, adding another assist and 14 PIM, he finished in the Black Hills with the Rush and earned 2 assists and 56 PIM. Overall, Klotz played in 40 games, and totaled 4 assists while racking up 153 PIM.
“I’ve been working hard this summer both in the gym and on my hockey skills to get ready for next season,” Klotz continued. “Regarding next year, I think I can bring a little more offense to the table and puck the puck in the net more. I know what I can do physically, so I’d like to see some more offense come to the fold. I like going to the dirty areas and to the front of the net, so hopefully I can bang in a few more goals and help this team win next season.”
“I brought in Garrett with a month left last season. I thought it was important to bring a guy like Garrett into the locker room that had experience and leadership,” Head Coach Daniel Tetrault said of re-signing his former teammate. “We had so many young guys last season, and the way he carries himself both on and off the ice is what we really needed. He plays with heart, passion, and work ethic, never takes a shift off, and it’s great for the young players to see that. He’s hungry for another championship, and will be a big part of my leadership group for next season.”
A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Klotz is in his 11th season as a professional. In his career spanning over a decade long, Klotz has played all over the landscape of professional hockey, appearing in 469 games in the AHL, ECHL, CHL, and EIHL, compiling totals of 30 goals, 47 assists, 77 points, and 1,116 PIM. In the 2013-14 CHL season, Klotz suited up with his current Head Coach, Daniel Tetrault, and captured the final Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Championship in league history as his teammate. Prior to playing professionally, Klotz played over 100 games in three seasons of WHL hockey with the Red Deer Rebels and Saskatoon Blades, and was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2007 NHL Draft (3rd Rd-#66).