The Rapid City Rush announced the re-signing of defenseman Jeremy Gates for the upcoming 2015-16 ECHL season.  Gates is the eighth defenseman signed for next season, and the fifth to return from last year.

Gates started the season with the SPHL’s Pensacola Ice Flyers.  In Florida, the 6’3”, 215-pound defenseman recorded 9 points (2 G, 7 Ast) in 15 games, while also establishing a +6 rating.  Jeremy racked up another 9 points with the Rush (G, 8 Ast) in 18 games played, and added an assist in 2 playoff games.

“I feel honored and excited to earn the right to wear a Rush jersey this season.  Rapid City has a great organization, awesome community participation, and the drive to win championships: all things a serious hockey player, like myself, hope for,” Gates remarked on his return to the Black Hills.  “Last season, our teams made strides that allowed us to play some great hockey towards the end of the season.  This year, we would like to pick up from where we left off and continue to grow.  I personally have been working on my overall power in my lower body, as well as my footwork, so hopefully that will allow for contribution to team success.”

“Jeremy came in last season when we went through a slew of injuries on our back end.  He played very well for us until he unfortunately got injured himself,” Rush Associate Coach Mark DeSantis said of Gates.  “Gator can play in all situations, but he is at his best when he keeps things simple, since he can make that high-quality critical first pass.  We expect Jeremy to come in and battle for a position on the backend, just like any other player we sign.”

A native of Jackson, MI, Gates, now 28, begins his fourth season of professional hockey, all of which have been played in some respect at the ECHL level.  In the “Premiere ‘AA’ Hockey League”, Gates has recorded 19 points in 66 games (3 G, 16 Ast), while also recording a +14 rating.

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