(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush announced today that veteran defenseman Steven Tarasuk has joined the Rush for the upcoming 2018-19 ECHL season. Tarasuk comes to the Rush after playing in Germany’s third division last season with the Saale Bulls Halle. The 5’10”, 180-pound defenseman was 11 points shy of a point-per-game pace last season, registering 7 goals, 25 assists, and 32 points in 43 games, while also adding another goal and 2 assists for 3 points in 4 playoff games. Tarasuk comes back to the ECHL for the first time since the 2016-17 season when he suited up for the former Mountain Division rival Alaska Aces. In Anchorage, he enjoyed the best season of his career to date, notching 7 goals, 31 assists, and 38 points in 66 games along with a +5 rating. “The biggest factor for me in signing with Rapid City is my relationship with Coach Tetrault. He and I shared a championship in Allen along with Garrett Klotz, and we’re hoping to do the same here in Rapid City and bring a championship to one of the most passionate fan bases in the game,” Tarasuk said of coming to the Rush this season. “As a player, I’m very passionate and competitive, and absolutely hate losing. I’m an offensive, puck-moving defenseman that can not only quarterback a power play, but also be relied upon in defensive situations. My expectations for next season are to 100 percent make the playoffs…after that, you never know what can happen. I’ve played in Rapid City so many times as a division rival, and can’t wait to have these fans on my side for this season!” “Steven and I won a championship together in Allen with Garrett Klotz four years ago in the CHL and we all have a great relationship, so bringing in a veteran player of his stature that I know can win the ultimate prize will help our success this season,” Rush Head Coach Daniel Tetrault explained of his former teammate and current veteran d-man. “Steven gives us so much on the back-end for a number of reasons, in particular that he’s a right-shot defenseman, but also a huge power play threat with his ability to move the puck and set the unit up on the breakout. Probably the best part of Steven’s game is the fact that he has a great shot, but more importantly, it gets through to the net, which opens up so many options offensively because he’s either scoring on his own, or his shot turns into a rebound to then be scored with. He’s put up fantastic numbers in both the ECHL and in his whole career as a defenseman, and I’m looking for great things out of Steven this season.” From Thornhill, Ontario, Tarasuk begins his 9th season as a professional hockey player, and his 6th in the ECHL. He has played all over the world in professional hockey, skating in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, in the ECHL with the Aces, Kalamazoo Wings, Ontario Reign, Idaho Steelheads, Missouri Mavericks, Brampton Beast, and played with the Allen Americans in both their CHL and ECHL tenures, as well as in Italy, Poland, and Germany. In the entirety of his professional career, Tarasuk has played in a grand total of 415 games, and generated 44 goals, 164 assists, and 208 points, won the 2014 CHL Championship with current Head Coach Daniel Tetrault as a member of the Allen Americans, and was a 2011 ECHL All-Star with Kalamazoo. Prior to playing professionally, Tarasuk played in the OHL for four seasons with the Kitchener Rangers and London Knights, tabulating 28 goals, 102 assists, 130 points, and a +103 rating in 252 games. ######
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