The Peoria Rivermen are excited to announce that defenseman Jarrett Rush (pictured) has been named captain for the team’s inaugural season in the Southern Professional Hockey League. In addition, big winger Ryan Raven and Pekin native Cole Ruwe have each been named alternate captains.
Rush becomes the 20th man to wear the “C” for the 32-year Peoria franchise. The 6’5, 230-pound stay-home defenseman is a fourth-year pro, who spent the majority of last season in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) between Elmira, Orlando, South Carolina and Colorado. Overall, Rush has played 84 regular season games in the ECHL and an additional 11 games in the SPHL.
The 28-year-old native of Pennington, New Jersey also played three seasons at Curry College before turning pro, where he was coached by Rob Davies, a former winger on Peoria’s inaugural IHL team in 1982-83.
“Jarrett has been fantastic since the moment he got here,” Rivermen head coach Jean-Guy Trudel said. “He knows his Rivermen history, he wants to be here, and he has the ability to be a leader in the locker room. He has ECHL experience, and you can see that level reflected in his professionalism and confidence.”
Raven, 27, spent last season with the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers, where he won the 2013 President’s Cup Championship in his first year in the league. He appeared in 42 games last year and recorded 18 goals and 18 assists.
A native of Tacoma, Washington, Raven spent his first full professional season with the Tulsa Oilers in the Central Hockey League (CHL) in 2011-12. He registered six goals and five assists in 35 games that season.
Ruwe, 28, enters his fifth full season of professional hockey and second in the SPHL. He began last season with the Mississippi Surge where he notched a goal and an assist in 10 games before being promoted to the CHL. Ruwe made his SPHL debut nearly a year ago on Oct. 27, 2012.
The 6’0, 205-pound defenseman has spent the majority of his pro career in the CHL. In 151 games, he has tallied five goals and 34 assists with 218 penalty minutes.
The Pekin native is very well versed in Peoria’s hockey community. He played junior hockey from 2002-03 and 2004-05 for the Peoria Mustangs, then coached by former Rivermen scrapper Kevin Lune. Ruwe also played youth hockey for the Pekin Flyers.
“These guys both bring experience and we feel that is very important,” Trudel said. “They know the Rivermen tradition and will do anything to help us win.”