The Rapid City Rush announced Wednesday that forwards Ryan Tesink and Kyle Dutra have been signed for the upcoming ECHL season.
Tesink joins the Rush for his fourth season as a professional. Last year, the 6-foot, 185-pound forward skated with the Wichita Thunder for 68 games, and registered career-highs across the board: seven goals, 15 assists, 22 points and 132 PIM.
“I’m very excited to be signed by the Rush and Coach (Daniel) Tetrault. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the staff, organization, and especially the fans,” Tesink said. “I’m a very gritty forward that played a very physical game. I’m excited to be a part of the 10th year anniversary and all of the changes that the organization has made. My expectations for the season are to come in and do whatever I can to help this team win hockey games and make the playoffs.”
Tetrault said the Rush are excited to have Tesnik join the organization.
"He’s going to bring grit and leadership to my locker room,” said Tetrault. “He’s a player that won’t be afraid to go into the corners and get dirty, and will also go to the dirty area in front of the net. He’s a champion at the junior level and a character guy, which will only further our mission to change the culture in Rapid City. I can’t wait to have him in the lineup.”
Originally from Saint John, New Brunswick, Tesink, 24, has played his entire professional career to-date in the ECHL, skating not only with the Thunder, but also with the Quad City Mallards and former Alaska Aces. In his three years as a professional, Tesink has career totals of 169 ECHL games, 18 goals, 43 assists, 61 points, and 259 PIM. Tesink was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 2011 NHL Draft (sixth round, No. 162).
Dutra comes to the Rush after his rights were acquired in a future considerations trade with the Norfolk Admirals at the end of last season. The 6-3, 205-pound forward joined Norfolk at the conclusion of his college career and skated in the final 12 games of last season with the Admirals, recording the first 4 points of his career, which were split between two goals and two assists.
“It felt great to be acquired by Rapid City. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the city, fans, and organization from teammates who played here previously,” said Dutra. “Also, I’m looking forward to playing under Coach Tetrault for my first season as a pro. I see myself as a skilled power forward that works hard and likes to take pucks to the net. All of these changes with the team are a great opportunity for the team to make strides in its 10th anniversary season, and a chance to hopefully get back in a playoff spot.”
Tetrault said that Dutra is going to add size and depth at the wing position.
“I like the fact that he played professional hockey to end the season last year, so it helps that he’ll be familiar with ECHL hockey," he said. "He is a hungry, young kid who will get a fresh start in Rapid City to officially start his professional career. He had a great college career, and I have heard nothing but great things about him, so I’m excited to see what he brings.”
Prior to turning pro last season, Dutra, a 24 year-old native of Mississauga, Ontario, played four years of college hockey in the NCAA with Mercyhurst University and recorded 71 points (32 goals, 39 assists) in 147 games over four seasons.