(RAPID CITY, SD) –The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today via a Black Hills Chiropractic Roster Adjustment that forward Ryan Valentini and defenseman Tristan Thompson have been signed for the 2021-22 season.
Valentini comes to Rapid City for what will be his first ECHL season. The 24-year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario played professionally in Italy during the 2020-21 season for the Vipiteno Sterzing Broncos in the AlpsHL where he put up 10 goals and 22 assists in 32 games
“As Ryan enters his first pro season in North America, he will be looking to make a name for himself,” said Rush head coach Scott Burt. “He plays with pace and energy and we are excited to see what he brings to our team this season.”
Valentini played his junior hockey career in the OHL with the London Knights and Sudbury Wolves. In 2016-17, he notched 18 goals and 32 assists over 66 games with Sudbury. Valentini then played two years collegiately in Canada at the University of Guelph before turning pro.
“I’m excited to get to South Dakota and be a part of what they are building in Rapid City,” said Valentini. “I have heard nothing but great things about the organization and its fans.”
Thompson enters his first season as a pro following a four-year college hockey career at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. In 136 career NCAA games, he registered 18 goals and 33 assists.
“Tristan is a smaller defenseman but that doesn’t keep him from a battle,” said Burt. “He comes to us with the ability to run a power play and with his smarts and puck moving skills, he will bring a little offensive touch to our back end.”
“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to continue my career with the Rush,” said Thompson. “I have heard nothing but great things about Scott, the coaching staff and the organization as a whole. I can’t wait to get things started in Rapid City.”