RUSH SIGN NHL DRAFT PICK, FORMER RAGE FORWARD COLT KING
(Rapid City, SD) – The Rapid City Rush are proud to announce the signing of former Rocky Mountain Rage power forward Colt King. The acquisition marks the first off-season signing outside of returning Rush players. King was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fourth round, 130th overall, of the 2001 NHL entry draft.
2009 CHL Off-Season Transactions
“Last season, we faced Colt several times and on a nightly basis he was the Rage’s go-to guy and was a force for his hockey club,” said Head Coach Joe Ferras. “We’re counting on Colt to bring that leadership both on the ice and in locker-room, and be a dominant presence in our lineup. When you have a player with the attributes like that of Colt’s, speed, power, physicality, hockey sense, and a willingness to mix it up with anybody, your hockey club has instantly gotten better. That’s what this key signing has done for Rapid City today.”
The Thunder Bay, Ontario native began his professional career in 2004 with the Augusta Lynx of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). King skated one more season in the ECHL with the Lynx and the Utah Grizzlies before playing for the Port Huron Flags of the United Hockey League where he was named an All-Star for the 2006-07 season. He then made his way to the CHL and the Rocky Mountain Rage for the 2007-08 season where he totaled 14 goals, 37 points and 110 penalty minutes in 51 games.
“Rapid City seems like great set up,” stated King. “I know a few guys there and they’ve had nothing but good things to say about Joe and the organization. The team Joe is putting together is going to be a real contender, if not a team that others are chasing. This squad has a lot of potential, the fans are great, and they sell out every game. I can’t ask for better environment.”
Last year, the 6’2”, 225-pound, power forward had his best season yet while playing in his second year with the 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 enjoyed both a 7-game (Nov. 26 – Dec. 12) and 8-game (Jan. 2 – 16) point streak through the season.
“As a player last year playing against Colt, you knew you were in for a tough battle,” said Assistant Coach Mark DeSantis. “He’s fearless as far as toughness, but you also have to be aware of his scoring touch. For me, he was one of the, if not the toughest player to play against because he had it all, physicality as well as a scoring touch. As an opposing player, it is imperative that you are aware of Colt at all times. Now I feel, out of all the free agents from the teams going dark, we got one of the best out of all of them.”
Not only did King set career-highs last season, he was also named Best Bodychecker, Best Fighter (Heavyweight), and tied for Best Power Forward in the CHL’s annual Best of the Best poll. He was also named CHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 1st after totaling 3 goals, 4 assists, a +7 rating and 11 penalty minutes in three games played.
King will also be making his way to the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins for camp in September. Wilkes-Barre Scranton in the “AAA” affiliate of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburg Penguins.
“It was more of a fact of what Joe [Ferras] and Mark [DeSantis] thought of me as a hockey player and was going above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable with my decision, working diligently to give me a chance at the next level,” said King. “He made calls to AHL teams on my behalf and it meant a lot to me for Joe to go out of his way like that. It feels good to have another chance at the AHL.”