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AUK RETURNS TO RUSH BLUE LINE FOR 2020-21 SEASON

Monday, August 17th
AUK RETURNS TO RUSH BLUE LINE FOR 2020-21 SEASON

(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today that defenseman Mark Auk has signed with the Rush for the 2020-21 ECHL season. The signing marks the seventh Black Hills Chiropractic Roster Adjustment this offseason.

Auk joins fellow defenseman Brandon Fehd, goaltenders Adam Carlson and Gordon Defiel, veteran forward Mike Hedden, and Blaine Jarvis “Heart and Soul Award” Winners Tyler Coulter and Cedric Montminy as players signed to the 2020-21 Rush roster.

Auk was acquired from the Orlando Solar Bears (through the Toledo Walleye) at last season’s trade deadline in a deal for Alex Sakellaropoulos.  The 6’0”, 190-pound blue-liner played in the last game of the season with the Rush, earning an assist in a 7-4 loss to the Utah Grizzlies. Before joining the Rush, he appeared in 30 games with Toledo, earning 3 goals and 10 points along with a +5 rating.

“I wasn’t in Rapid City long, but I got a great feeling with Coach Tetrault and this organization in my brief time here. It’s a great opportunity for me to play here, so I decided to come back for a full season,” Auk remarked on his re-signing with the Rush. “For the Rush fans that didn’t get to see me play, I bring a smooth skating, offensive style to the defenseman position. I try to play unselfishly, use my body, and do the little things that are necessary to being a complete player both on the ice and in the locker room. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to be the best ‘me’ that I can be in every sense.

“My goal is to help this team win a championship, but to do that on a personal level, I’d like to bring consistency to the Rush,” Auk continued. “I’ve noticed in this league that it’s easy to sit back and take your foot off the gas when you’re a part of a good team. With that being said, I’d like to bring a consistent approach to my position and role and play a full 60 minutes every night for a full 72-game season. I want to express how excited I am to be coming to Rapid City for next season, and hope everyone stays safe and healthy!”

Rush Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Daniel Tetrault said of Auk’s re-signing: “This is a crucial signing for our back-end heading into next season. Mark Auk is going to be a game-changer for the Rush in 2020-21. I was disappointed he only got one game with us before the season ended, but fans could see immediately why we acquired him at the trade deadline. He’s going to play top d-pair minutes, while also anchoring our top power play unit. Mark has an incredible knack for the offensive side of the blue line, and has an outstanding first pass, which is very hard to teach to young hockey players. The way he sees the game, and the skill he brings to our team will be invaluable to our success. I’m going to rely on him for leadership and clutch offensive performance next season.”

Originally from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, Auk spent the 2018-19 season in Finland’s Liiga with Lukko, earning a goal and 10 points in 47 games. He made his professional debut in the 2017-18 season with the AHL’s Iowa Wild, and earned his first goal in his debut on April 6, 2018 against the Chicago Wolves in a 7-3 win. Before turning pro, Auk played four seasons at Michigan Tech in the NCAA, and registered 21 goals, 63 assists, and 84 points in 150 games along with a +54 rating. In his junior and senior seasons in 2017 and 2018, he won back-to-back WCHA Championships. In addition to playing college hockey, he spent two seasons in the USHL with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (93gp, 11g-28ast-39pts) and one year in the NAHL with the Port Huron Fighting Falcons (27gp, 3g-9ast-12pts).

Season Tickets for the 2020-21 season are available! For more information, visit our Season Ticket Holder Page. To place a deposit, call 716-7825, or click HERE.

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