On Thursday October 8th, the Rapid City Rush announced the re-signing of second-year defenseman Eric Israel. The two sides agreed to terms on a standard player contract for the upcoming season. Israel played 52 games last season, scoring one goal along with 16 assists.
Israel joined the Rush in 2019-20 following his four year tenure at Robert Morris University. Israel was a prolific scorer for the Colonials, recording 21 goals along with 64 assists. This made for 85 points which he managed to amass in 146 games.
He had a standout campaign in his sophomore season, where he tallied eight goals along with 22 assists. He did so in 38 games while also fourth on the team in scoring. Israel was the highest scoring defensemen for the Colonials in each of his last three seasons.
Israel was also a prolific shot-blocker for Robert Morris. In his senior season, he ranked fifth in blocked shots throughout the entirety of Division I hockey.
The defensemen’s success earned him several accolades throughout the course of his collegiate career. He earned a 2017 Third All-Conference team selection, and that same year, was selected to represent the United States in the Maccabiah Games. It’s the largest Jewish athletic competition in the world.
He helped the USA to a silver medal in the tournament, recording four points in four games played. From 2017-2019, Israel was also selected to the AHA All-Academic Team.
Israel, 25-year-olds, will look to continue his offensive development with the Rapid City Rush in 2020-21. If the defensemen’s game can continue to improve on both sides of the ice, Israel will have a chance to be a high-impact player for the Rush moving forward.
As recent signings by Rapid City, Israel joins Garrett Klotz, Collin Saccoman, Griffin Luce, Kyle Froese and Hayden Lavigne. As per the league’s recent announcement, puck drop will commence for the Rush on December 11th in a split-season format.