Colt King Called-Up by Rochester
Rush Sign Loan Agreement with Amerks
The Rapid City Rush is proud to announce today that forward Colt King has been called up to the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans. The Rush entered a loan agreement with the Rochester Americans that allowed King to sign a two-way contract. A fourth-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 NHL entry draft, King will join the Americans in time for this weekend’s games against the Abbotsford Heat. The Americans, who currently sit at the top of the league standings in the AHL, are the affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
“We’re very excited to enter into a loan agreement with the Rochester Americans,” said Rush Head Coach Joe Ferras. “Whenever you can enter into a relationship with a first class organization like the Americans, headed by Vice President of Hockey Operations Ted Nolan and Director of Player Personnel Jody Gage, it’s great for our organization. We are also excited for Colt to play his first game at the American Hockey League level. When you lose your top goal scorer, it’s always tough but at the same time this is a great opportunity for other players who normally wouldn’t get the same playing time to step up and fill the void and show what they can do.”
Through the opening 17 games of the season, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native leads the Rush with 12 goals and his 19 points trails only Les Reaney’s 21. In the season opener, King scored a pair of goals including Rapid City’s first goal of the year as well as the game-winner. In another multi-goal effort, King netted his 100th and 101st professional goals on October 27th while on the road against the Tulsa Oilers.
“I met Joe while he was in Bridgeport [Bridgeport-Sound Tigers (AHL)],” said Nolan. “I knew Joe was the Head Coach of a new expansion team in Rapid City, SD of the Central Hockey League. Since I was six years old, I wanted to visit Wounded Knee and the rest of the Native American historical sites. Not only was I able to experience the history of the Black Hills, I was able to get a first-hand look at what a first-class organization Rapid City is. I know what type of guy Joe is and the work he’s done there and it’s a real credit to Joe with all that he’s done to recruit and develop players. With players we’re looking at like Les Reaney and Colt, Rapid City is a great place to be affiliated with.”
“Every team can’t have the same tough, gritty type players,” continued Nolan. “I’ve known of Colt since he was about 14-15 years old and he’s a big power forward that seems to be getting game going, especially this year with 12 goals in 17 games. He’s very deserving of it and we’re looking for a player of his caliber of skill and compete level. Hopefully this shows the kids that there is tremendous talent in CHL just as good as anywhere else in helping players reach goals of NHL. It’s a real credit to Joe and his staff with the job their doing. They are grooming players for the next level and hopefully for us and our relationship, this will be the first of many.”
Last season, the 6’2”, 225-pound power forward had his best season yet while playing in his second year with the Rocky Mountain Rage. In 61 games, King amassed career-highs in goals (28), assists (40), and points (68), to go along with 168 penalty minutes. His 28 goals were tied for the team lead and tied for 16th in the league. King also boasted a 7-game (Nov. 26th – Dec.12th) and 8-game (Jan. 2nd – 16th) point streak during the season.
“I am extremely excited to finally get a chance to play at the AHL level,” said King. “As a sixth-year pro, I would like to thank Coach Ferras and the entire Rapid City Rush organization for giving me an opportunity that has never happened for me before. I am a bit nervous heading into my first regular-season action at the AHL level, but more excited and anxious to get out on the ice and show what I can do.”
After posting the impressive numbers last season, King was named Best Bodychecker, Best Fighter (Heavyweight), and tied for Best Power Forward in the CHL’s annual Best of the Best Poll. He was named CHL player of the week for the term ending March 1st after totaling 3 goals, 4 assists, a +7 rating and 11 penalty minutes in three games played.
The 6th-year pro is the third Rush player this season to make his way to the AHL level. Rush rookie goaltender Danny Battochio began the season with the Peoria Rivermen while winger Derek LeBlanc recently returned to the Rush after playing in nine games for the Manitoba Moose. The Rivermen and Moose are the affiliates of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks, respectively.