(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, announced today the dual signing of defenseman Zack Hoffman and forward Maurizio Colella for the 2023-24 ECHL season.
Hoffman and Colella are the second and third newcomers to join the Rush for next season alongside defenseman T.J. Fergus. Overall, the team has announced 10 players for the 2023-24 season, including returning forwards Weiland Parrish, Keanu Yamamoto, Brett Gravelle, Jimmy Soper, and Alex Aleardi, and defensemen Tyson Helgesen and Carter Robertson.
Hoffman joins the Rush after skating all of last season with the Wichita Thunder. The 6’3”, 216-pound blue-liner tallied 6 assists in 52 games in “The Air Capital”, along with 69 PIM.
"I'm really looking forward to getting things going in Rapid City," said Hoffman. "I enjoyed playing in The Monument with the atmosphere the Rush fans created!"
“With a season in the ECHL under his belt in Wichita, I’m excited to add Zack to our team for 2023-24,” said Rush Head Coach/GM Scott Burt. “He is a big right shot d-man that plays the game hard and is someone the fans will love to watch. I am excited to add him to our back end as we continue to work on adding the right players to help get to where we should be making the playoffs. This is another player moving forward we’re happy to get in a Rush jersey!”
Hailing from Newcastle, Ontario, Hoffman, 25, begins his second full season in the ECHL. He earned his first taste of post-college hockey in the SPHL with the Fayetteville Marksmen, scoring a goal and five points in 25 games, with an additional helper in three playoff games in 2021-22. Before turning professional, Hoffman played two seasons of Canadian college hockey in USports with Saint Mary’s University. There, he played 32 games, earning a goal and three assists. Prior to his collegiate days, he had a banner season with the CCHL’s Navan Grads, racking up 44 points (11g-33ast) in 62 games, collecting honors for CCHL All-Graduate Team, First All-Star Team, Defenseman of the Year, and Most Valuable Player.
Colella returns to North American professional hockey with the Rush following a season overseas in Italy. Between both the Alps Hockey League and the Italian Hockey League, the 6’0”, 190-pound forward appeared in 22 contests, earning 10 goals and 24 points with HC Merano.
"I'm really excited to be a part of a great organization," said Colella. "I've heard nothing but great things from ownership to the fans. I'm excited to get to Rapid and get started for the push toward the playoffs!"
“Maurizio has a unique background that I’m excited to see play out in front of us here in Rapid City this year,” Burt continued regarding Colella’s signing. “He has a few ECHL games under his belt with Worcester, South Carolina, and Newfoundland. Last season took him over to Italy, where he had good numbers in Merano. He comes to us hungry and ready to play over here in the US. He put up good numbers as well in the OHL, and at every level has shown a knack for the net, so we hope that he can continue to keep that going for the Rush.”
Originally from Tottenham, Ontario, Colella, 26, enters his first full season of professional hockey in North America. He last played in the ECHL at the end of the 2021-22 season with the South Carolina Stingrays (3 games) and Newfoundland Growlers (10gp, 1g-1ast-2pts). Before that stint, Colella played three years of Canadian college hockey with Acadia University, earning 30 points in 67 games. Prior to college, he made his professional debut at the end of the 2017-18 ECHL season as a member of the Worcester Railers, playing in three games. This followed a successful major-junior career in the OHL, where over parts of five years, he earned 130 points in 278 games with the Flint Firebirds, North Bay Battalion, Hamilton Bulldogs, and Belleville Bulls.
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!