(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today that forward Alec Baer has re-signed with the Rush for the 2019-20 ECHL season.
Baer spent last season, his first full campaign as a professional, with the Rush on two different occasions. The 5'10", 180-pound forward was signed to an SPC in the offseason and began the 2018-19 season with the Rush. He appeared in 7 games and earned a goal and assist each before being released from the team in early November. After his release, he joined the expansion Maine Mariners, with whom he added one goal in three contests before a series of AHL assignments prompted his release again. The Rush re-signed Baer in December, and he remained to play in 32 more games and added 10 more points, split at five goals and assists until an injury in March ended his season.
"I decided to come back because after the trade deadline, there was a new energy with the team from the new ownership, and the new front office. The organization is going in a great direction and will only continue to get better. Coach Tetrault and I were getting along well at the end of last season, so it was an easy choice to come back," Baer stated on his return to the Rush. "Last year was obviously a year I wasn't happy with, and I'm sure people know it wasn't my best. I feel like I have much more to prove to the fans and this team heading into this season.
"I think the big thing for me was confidence: Coach Tetrault really helped me with that when I came back to the team the second time. Once I got back into my swing, he gave me more leeway with the puck to make plays, and that's why I saw success again," Baer concluded. "This year in camp, I expect to bring a direct impact, to be in shape physically, but most importantly, be ready mentally. I know what to expect, and want to be a guy that is counted upon every day. Simply put, I'm ready to compete!"
"Alec had a tough start to the season, but he started to feel confident in the last month or so and really contributed for us until he got hurt," Rush Head Coach Daniel Tetrault explained regarding Baer's rookie season. "You have to realize, when Alec first came into the league out of the WHL and played for us, he lit it up: he had 6 points in 8 games, scored in his debut late to force a shootout, which he also scored in, and was a big part of our end of season push in 2017-18. We know he can play at a high level, so I expect him to come in with confidence, fight for every opportunity, and hope he gives us an edge offensively at the start of the season."
A native of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Baer began his professional career with the Rush in the final 8 games of the 2017-18 season following his major-junior career. He registered 6 points in those 8 games (3g-3ast), and all-time with the Rush has 18 points in 47 games, split down the middle at 9 points and assists. Prior to turning professional, Baer played in the WHL with the Vancouver Giants, Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Kootenay Ice, and compiled career totals of 86 goals, 101 assists, and 187 points in 342 games.
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