THE RUSH UNVEILS 1-2 OFFENSIVE PUNCH; ANNOUNCE PLAYER-ASSISTANTS
(Rapid City, SD) – The Rapid City Rush are proud to announce the addition of forwards Brendan Cook and Scott Wray to the 2009-10 roster. The Rush gain a tremendous boost to their already potent offense with the pair that will serve as this season’s Player-Assistants.
"We’re extremely happy to have both Brendan Cook and Scott Wray join our hockey club,” said Head Coach Joe Ferras. “I am very familiar with Scott having coached him for five years in Amarillo, and the same can be said for Brendan as we have built a great relationship since he completed his time at Bemidji State in 2005. The two of them are great character players that are both very offensively-gifted and committed to winning. They’re both dedicated athletes that make players around them better because of their exceptional conditioning and they expect tons out of themselves and this is something that will filter through the locker room. Scott is coming into the stage in his career where he’s going to be counted on off the ice as well as a huge leader for our club. He was a main cog in the wheel for us in Amarillo when we went to playoffs four years in row. Both Scott and Brendan have the ability to play both sides of the puck and have the versatility to play in all situations. These guys are committed every night and with their work ethic, we’re not going to let any team out work us this season.”
The 5’10” 185-pound Cook is entering his fifth pro season, second in the CHL, and has led his team in scoring the past two years. Last year, he accumulated 34 goals and 41 assists for 75 points in 61 games with the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). He finished the season ranked 12th in league scoring. In the 2007-08 season, Cook led the CHL’s Austin Ice Bats with 35 goals and 64 points in 63 games played. The next closest players were tied with 19 for the year.
“I had been talking to Joe for a couple years,” said Cook. “His professionalism and the chance to come to such a first-class organization like the Rush is a big reason why I decided to come play for Rapid. I’m obviously very excited for the upcoming season. Joe and Mark have done a great job with recruiting and have done an unbelievable job to make sure this team will not only be a playoff team, but contender. With the guys we brought back, we have a solid core, along with guys we are bringing in, it’s the common thread of guys with good character, and hopefully, I can add to that.”
The 26-year-old Cook is a native of Reston, Manitoba and turned pro in 2005 after four seasons at Bemidji State University where he is the all-time Division-1 era leading goal scorer. While at Bemidji, he skated along side Rush center Blaine Jarvis and played the 2007-08 season in front of Rush netminder Miguel Beaudry while in Austin. Cook also has his own business, “Get The Edge Hockey” that he has been running for 3 years which offers elite off-season training for hockey players.
“Not only are we getting an unbelievable player, we are getting an unbelievable person in Brendan Cook. While scouting Brendan, every person that we spoke to not only mentioned his outstanding performance as a hockey player, but more importantly, nothing but glowing remarks about his character. We look forward to having Brendan leading the way towards a Championship year,” said Assistant Coach Mark DeSantis.
The Rush also add their second player from last season division rival, the Rocky Mountain Rage and add a wealth of experience in 11th year-pro, Scott Wray. Earlier in the summer, the Rush signed Colt King to their lineup and now add another proven goal scorer in Wray who finished 3rd on the team with 24 markers. Wray has a number of ties to the Rush due to his time in Amarillo. Wray played 231 games for Amarillo spread out over five seasons where he skated with Mark DeSantis and Rich Hansen under the direction of then Gorillas Head Coach Joe Ferras. During that time, he helped lead Gorillas to four straight playoff appearances, which included back-to-back trips to the Southern Conference Finals in 2003-04 and 2004-05.
In 2006-07, he earned UHL All-Star recognition while playing for the Elmira Jackals and Port Huron Flags. He was named to the CHL All-Star team in 2005-06 with the Amarillo Gorillas, when he generated a career-high 76 points (38g-38a) in just 52 games. In that same year, finished 14th in the CHL in scoring and tied for the league-lead with 10 game-winning goals.
“I came here because I have played for Joe for so long in Amarillo,” said Wray. “He showed me loyalty throughout those years and this is my way to show my loyalty to him. We [The Rage] played here a lot last year and every time we came into the building, it was very exciting, and I definitely wanted to be a part of it. I think we have a very competitive team, and the only question is how quick we can all together. We did this once in Rocky Mountain before, where we had a number of new faces and we led the league in points for the majority of the season. I think with this group that we have, we’ll be making a lot of noise.”
Last season, Wray, a veteran who hails from Ottawa, Ontario, recorded the Rage’s first hat trick of the year and just the third natural hat trick in franchise history to lead the Rage to a 4-3 shootout win over Rapid City on Nov. 22. In that game, he also set a new team record with 12 shots on goal. He later recorded his 500th career point (252g-248a) with an assist on Jan. 16 in a 7-1 win against Wichita.
“From playing with Wrayzer [Wray] for a few years in Amarillo, I know what a great character player we are getting both on and off the ice,” said DeSantis. “He will be one of the top, if not top shooters in the league as he has done for a number of years in this league. We have a 25-30 goal scorer, unbelievable work ethic, and a great leader both on and off the ice in Wrayzer.”