Rush Sign 2016 WHL Champion Tyler Coulter
(RAPID CITY, SD) - The Rapid City Rush, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Arizona Coyotes, announced today that forward Tyler Coulter has signed with the Rush for the 2019-20 ECHL season. In a separate transaction, the Rush have acquired the ECHL rights to rookie defenseman Ryker Killins, who signed an AHL contract with the Tucson Roadrunners earlier this offseason, in exchange for future considerations with the South Carolina Stingrays.
Coulter comes to the Rush in a return to North American professional hockey, having spent last season in Sweden Division 1. The 6'0", 200-pound forward played almost his entire season with Tyringe SoSS, registering 24 points (12g-12ast) in 20 games before concluding his season with Kristianstads IK. With the latter club, he added another pair of goals in as many games en route to promoting his club to the top league in Sweden, the Allsvenskan.
"I'm really looking forward to playing for Coach Tetrault. It's been a long time coming, and it's a privilege to play for a Brandon Wheat King alumnus like him," Coulter said of his decision to join the Rush. "The experience I earned playing in Sweden allowed me the opportunity to play more minutes, learn more puck skills, and build my stamina playing on a larger ice surface. The North American style of the game was an advantage to me because I was taught to be aggressive to the puck, but in Sweden, everyone is so fast. It was a perfect way to balance my game heading into this season.
"I like to be a hard player to play against. I like to be physical, but I love to score and will do anything to win, which is my ultimate goal next season," Coulter continued. "I want to make an impact for this team right from the start. We have a great opportunity to start strong and stay that way heading into the playoffs. That's the goal every season, and I can't wait to start playing and chase that goal."
"Tyler had a phenomenal junior career with great numbers and a championship as well. He's extremely excited to come play in Rapid City, especially with our Wheat Kings connection," Rush Head Coach and former Wheat Kings Captain Daniel Tetrault remarked on Coulter's signing. "Tyler just needs an opportunity to play and showcase his offensive ability. He has an unreal shot, always works to find his way to the net and put himself in a prime scoring position, and is really strong on his skates and in the corners. He'll be a great addition to our lineup for this season."
Originally from Brandon, Manitoba, Coulter heads into his second season playing professionally, but is still a rookie by ECHL standards. His first professional experience came in the 2017-18 season as a member of the Jacksonville IceMen, where he notched his first career goal with 3 assists in 14 games before transitioning to play Canadian college hockey with the University of Calgary. In USports with the Dinos, he registered a pair of goals and an assist in 11 games, and appeared in 5 playoff games. Prior to the start of his professional career, Coulter played all five seasons of his WHL career with the Brandon Wheat Kings, compiling career totals of 76 goals, 100 assists, 176 points, and a +77 rating. In the 2015-16 season, he served as an Alternate Captain, and helped lead the Wheat Kings to the 2016 WHL Championship.
Killins signed a contract with the Rush's AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners, on July 31st of this offseason. His rights come to the Rush in a future considerations trade with the South Carolina Stingrays, with whom he received his first experience in professional hockey last season. The 5'9", 180-pound blue-liner recorded 3 goals, 6 assists, and 9 points in 14 games, along with a +7 rating. He followed up his stellar regular season with an additional assist while playing in all 5 Stingrays playoff contests. Prior to turning professional, the Wawa, Ontario native played four seasons of NCAA hockey with the Ferris State Bulldogs, where he earned career totals of 12 goals, 23 assists, and 35 points in 102 games. He was twice named to the WCHA's All-Academic Team (2017, 2018), won the 2016 WCHA Championship, and was named to the WCHA's Third All-Star Team as a senior in 2018.
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