(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today that forward Alex Rauter has re-signed with the Rush for the 2019-20 ECHL season.
Rauter spent last season, his first as a professional, with three ECHL teams, with the Rush serving as his final stop in the campaign. The 6’1”, 185-pound forward began the year with the Wheeling Nailers, and compiled 34 points (10g-24ast) in 44 games before being traded to the Manchester Monarchs, adding another goal and assist in 6 games. Rauter then came to the Rush on the whirlwind trade deadline in March from the Fort Wayne Komets (through Manchester) in exchange for defenseman Josh Elmes. Upon arriving in Rapid City, his impact was immediate: he accumulated 4 goals, 3 assists, and 7 points in the final 12 games of the season, and finished as the leading scorer of the Rush with a grand total of 46 points (16g-30ast) in 65 games.
“When Coach Tetrault told me the plan for this next season, as well as our affiliation with Arizona, I was immediately interested in coming back. The affiliation will be great for our players and our fans to see and be a part of the future of the Coyotes,” Rauter remarked on his return to the Black Hills. “In addition, I loved being a part of the culture of Rush hockey. The fans, the arena, the city: there are so many great things about Rapid City that made coming back an easy choice.
“Having the opportunity to play regularly and in key situations was great for all of us who arrived to the Rush at the trade deadline. That underdog, hard-working mentality we have here in Rapid City is exactly the mentality I try to play with on this team,” Rauter continued. “Next season is an important one for our team and myself personally. With our new owners and affiliation, I think it’s crucial that we make the playoffs and have a winning season, but it won’t come easy. We need to work hard, buy-in and get better every day. I feel we have the group that will not only do that, but can accomplish a great deal this season.”
“I’m ecstatic Alex is coming back to Rapid City. He provided an immediate boost to our offense, and played a major role in our late season playoff push last year, giving us a fighting chance in the home stretch of the year,” Rush Head Coach Daniel Tetrault stated regarding Rauter’s return. “Alex brought such a high hockey IQ and skill level to our team, and it allowed us to create so much more offensively in the final month of the season compared to other moments in the year. He has a great compete level and a high motor, and was always working to improve his skill and release on his shot. Without a doubt, the expectation for him is to lead our offense right from the start next season, and I know he’s more than willing to rise to the challenge.”
A native of Chatham, New Jersey, Rauter got his first taste of professional hockey with the Atlanta Gladiators in the 2017-18 season, playing to a point-per-game average with 2 goals and 1 assist in 3 games, while adding another goal in 4 playoff games. Prior to turning pro, he played NCAA college hockey with Cornell University, where he was the Captain during the 2017-18 season, amassing career college totals of 20 goals, 23 assists, and 43 points in 93 games. He also made stops in the NAHL with the Wenatchee Wild and USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms and Omaha Lancers.
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