(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, announced today re-signing of second-year forward Keanu Yamamoto for the 2023-24 ECHL season.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Rapid City and excited to see what we can do this year!" said Yamamoto.
Yamamoto becomes the sixth returner from last season, joining forwards Weiland Parrish, Brett Gravelle, Jimmy Soper, and Alex Aleardi, and defenseman Carter Robertson. As of today’s announcement, the Rush have seven players signed for the 2023-24 season.
Yamamoto spent all of the 2022-23 campaign with the Rush, his first as a professional. The 5’10”, 170-pound forward played in all but one game of the year, rifling 18 goals with 27 assists for 45 points. His first professional goal came on the road in a two-goal performance during a 9-1 throttling of Tulsa on November 19, 2022. Yamamoto led all Rush rookies in scoring and finished fourth overall in assists, fifth overall in points on the team last season.
“Having Keanu come back to Rapid City for a second season is very exciting. As a rookie, he put up real good numbers for our team,” Rush Head Coach/GM Scott Burt said of the returning forward. “With personally knowing and coaching him in Spokane, I knew he could translate his play to the pro game. Keanu wants to take his game to the next level, and we will give him every opportunity to be the best he can be. A good summer preparing and getting ready will help him now knowing what it takes to be a pro.”
Hailing from Spokane, Washington, Yamamoto, 27, turned professional last season after five seasons in Canadian college hockey with McGill University. In his USports tenure, he notched 29 goals, 53 assists, and 82 points in 98 games. Before going to college, Yamamoto spent four seasons in the major-junior ranks with his hometown Spokane Chiefs, where he was coached by Burt while he was the assistant coach. With the Chiefs, he tallied 71 goals, 106 assists, and 177 points in 271 games. Yamamoto is the older brother of newly signed Seattle Kraken forward Kailer Yamamoto, the #22 overall draft pick in 2017 with 244 NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers (50g-68ast-118pts).
2023-24 season tickets and mini packs are on sale now! Opening night takes place on October 27 against the Kansas City Mavericks. Don't miss out on any of the action next season. Get your season tickets or mini packs by calling us at (605) 716-7825 or online at rapidcityrush.com!