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ROOKIE GINNELL, RETURNING DEFENSEMAN CARLSON AGREE TO DEALS WITH RUSH

Thursday, September 7th
ROOKIE GINNELL, RETURNING DEFENSEMAN CARLSON AGREE TO DEALS WITH RUSH

(RAPID CITY, S.D.) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, announced today that forward Riley Ginnell and defenseman Alex Carlson have inked a deal with the team for the 2023-24 season. 

“I’m so excited to have signed with the Rush and start my career in such an awesome city with great fans,” said Ginnell. “I’m really looking forward to meeting the guys and putting on that uniform for the first time.” 

Ginnell spent last season in the WHL having split teams between the Brandon Wheat Kings, Moose Jaw Warriors, and his final 36 games with the Regina Pats. In his 52 games last season, he tallied 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points. In his previous three seasons, Ginnell was a constant presence in the Wheat Kings lineup including his best-performing year in 2021-22 where he played in 62 games and registered 34 points (14g-20a). 

“With the signing of Riley we are adding a big skilled player from Regina in the WHL,” said Head Coach Scott Burt. “This will be his first professional season and to add him to our group is big. He has the size and ability to play at the next level so this will be a good opportunity to get his feet wet.” 

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Ginnell has multiple ties to the NHL level through his dad, Erin Ginnell, and his uncle, Dan Ginnell. Erin was an amateur scout for the Florida Panthers for 16 years from 2000-2016, serving the final five seasons as the Panthers Director of Amateur Scouting. Erin is now an amateur scout for the Vegas Golden Knights. Dan broke into the NHL with the St. Louis Blues in 2005 as an amateur scout and was promoted to the Head of European Scouting for the Blues in 2022. Both Riley’s father and uncle have Stanley Cup championship rings. 

Defenseman Alex Carlson scored a goal in 12 games for the Rush last season. He spent most of the year in the SPHL with the Quad City Storm where he scored a goal and added six assists in 43 games along the blue line. A big-bodied presence, Carlson logged a career-high 79 penalty minutes between the Rush and the Storm last year.  

“I’m really excited to join the team this season. Come in last year for a little while, Rapid City has a great hockey culture and I’m looking forward to being part of it more,” said Carlson.  

Carlson carries a full season of ECHL experience from when he played for the inaugural Iowa Heartlanders team in 2021-22. Prior to that, he had been a mainstay on the Knoxville Ice Bears defensive corps in the SPHL. In 2019-20, Carlson led all Knoxville defensemen in penalty minutes with 63.  

“Alex played for us on 2 different call-ups last season. He is a very safe, big D-man looking to stick here all season. He is a great teammate and knows his role here. We are excited to add his grit and determination to our defensive core,” said Burt. 

An American player from Lakewood, New York, Carlson parlayed a season of ACHA Division I hockey into a four-year career in NCAA Division I hockey at Mercyhurst University. While with the Lakers, he was teammates with recent-Rush-alumnus, goaltender Adam Carlson. Carlson was named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team his senior season after maintaining a 3.0 GPA in every semester of competition while at Mercyhurst.  

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

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