Rush Sign Three Defensemen
The Rapid City Rush announced today signing of defensemen Gio Flamminio, Corey Laurysen and Scott Kalinchuk for the 2010-11 Central Hockey League season. The trio now brings the number of players signed for the upcoming Rush season to 16.
Check out all the 2010 Off-Season Transactions
Flamminio, a native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, returns for his third season in the Black Hills. Last season, the former all-star collected 17 points (1g, 16a) and set a career high with 101 penalty minutes in 52 regular season games played. Flamminio added a five points (2g, 3a) in 16 post-season games and finished with a +8 rating.
“Gio is a player that comes to work every day,” said head coach Joe Ferras. “He has a tremendous work ethic and battles night in and night out. Gio brings a ton of energy to the table and is a player that elevates the game of those around him. As a coach, you know exactly what you’re going to get from him every night.”
In his first season with the Rush, the 6’0”, 195-pound Flamminio led all Rush defenseman in scoring, having set career highs in assists (25), points (32), and penalty minutes (81).
Flamminio skated with the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) during the 2007-08 season where he tallied 30 points in 67 games. His first stint in the CHL was with Oklahoma City during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. While with the Blazers, Flamminio totaled 12 goals and 35 assists for 47 points in 117 games played.
“I am extremely happy to be returning to Rapid City,” said Flamminio. “The hype surrounding the upcoming season is going to be phenomenal and I could not be more excited to defend the cup. It will be difficult to top last year's success, however I am prepared to contribute all I can in order to help make it happen.”
Kalinchuk, 25, was acquired by the Rush as part of a trade made last season with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. The second-year pro will begin the season by attending training camp with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League (AHL).
“When Bossier-Shreveport offered us a list of players in order to complete the Plume trade, Scott was the first player we wanted after the way he played during our 7-game series,” stated Ferras. “He plays with an edge and competes every night and is a player that will force opponents forwards to earn every bit of ice. He’s a player with a lot of upside and I am excited to see him develop and mature as a pro in his second year.”
Kalinchuk is a 6’1”, 195-pound defenseman who spent last year’s rookie season with the Mudbugs as well as the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. In 48 games with the Mudbugs, the Bowsman, Manitoba native collected 5 goals, 12 assists for 17 points to go along with 93 penalty minutes. Prior to that, Kalinchuk played four years of college hockey with Alabama-Huntsville where he accumulated 45 points (11g, 34a) and 136 PIM.
“Playing against the Rush was both really tough and a lot of fun,” said Kalinchuk. “The fans make it an awesome atmosphere to play in. I’m excited because I have only heard great things about the organization and coach Ferras and I’m even more exciting because I’m joining the defending champions. Defending the cup will be a lot of fun but it will also be hard work. Everyone will be gunning for us, making it a great challenge. I’m also very excited about going to my first AHL camp in Rockford. I've always wanted to reach the highest level of hockey that I can and this is just another step to try and help me get there.”
Laurysen returns Rapid City after joining the Rush as an amateur for last season’s championship run. The Carp, Ontario native will enter his rookie campaign with 10 playoff games already under his belt.
“Last year, after a strong regular season, we were looking to add amateurs for our playoff run,” said Ferras. “With knowing the league well and talking to coaches in Atlantic Hockey, there was nothing but positive things said about Corey. When we sustained injuries, he jumped right into the fire and played fantastic for us, scoring the overtime winner against Bossier and playing great in game 6 to clinch the cup. Corey adjusted well to the pro game and we look for him to mature and continue to develop this season.”
Prior to joining the Rush, Laurysen played four years of division-1 college hockey for Sacred Heart University. The 5’11”, 195-pound rookie accumulated 33 points (7g, 26a) in 140 games while at Sacred Heart, playing with fellow Rush defenseman Dave Grimson for three seasons.
“Last year’s run was great,” said Laurysen. “I couldn’t have been on a better team and been surrounded with better guys. My first experience as a pro was a great learning tool, especially with leaders like Scott Wray and Luke Fritshaw taking me under their wing and showing me the ropes. There couldn’t have been a better situation for me, and with winning the championship, you couldn’t have scripted it better. Returning to the Rush was a no brainer. With the way we finished, coupled with seeing more ice time, Joe and Desi helped me gain more confidence and I’m excited to see where a full season can take me.”