(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, announced today that forward Josh MacDonald has returned to the Rush for the upcoming 2016-17 ECHL Season.
“We had seen Josh a lot last season while he was with Utah, and we saw a lot of upside in him. When we made the trade with the Grizzlies, we were so excited to receive a player that had so much promise coming to our roster,” Rush Head Coach Mark DeSantis explained on MacDonald’s return to the Rush. “Unfortunately for Josh, his season ended early due to an injury, but now that he has had time to heal, we expect him to pick up from where he left off with us. With Ryan Walters, Lindsay Sparks, Brett Perlini, and now Josh up front, our offensive game should be deadly this season.”
MacDonald exploded onto the scene for the Rush last season when he was acquired in a trade with the Utah Grizzlies that brought him to Rapid City with Ryan Walters in exchange for Cody Ferriero. The 5’11”, 190-pound rookie brought 22 points in 40 games with Utah before coming to the Black Hills, and started off his tenure with the Rush by recording a franchise-record 6-point night in his debut, becoming just the second rookie in Rush history to score a hat trick while doing so. Unfortunately, an injury sidelined MacDonald for the majority of the remainder of the regular season, which limited his production to 9 points (4 G, 5 Ast) in 7 games.
“When I first got to Rapid City, it was a warm welcome. We didn’t end the season the way we wanted to, but I think Coach DeSantis was starting to put the pieces to the puzzle together. He told me what he expects from me and from the team, and it made this the right fit,” MacDonald said of his return to the Rush. “We should have a great offensive lineup and hopefully there’s more to come this offseason. I feel if we start the year with the right mindset, we can go really deep. We had a great spark at the end of the year and if we can maintain that the whole year then we’ll be dangerous.”
Originally from London, Ontario, MacDonald now heads into his second season of professional hockey, and first full campaign with the Rush. Before turning pro, the 22 year-old forward played four seasons of junior hockey with both the Barrie Colts and Peterborough Petes of the OHL, amassing a total of 70 goals, 61 assists, and 131 points in 242 games.