The Rapid City Rush quickly moved from the stunning departure of defenseman Riley Weselowski, by announcing the return of a forward who could rewrite the Rush record books.
Winston Day Chief will be back in an “R” sweater for the 2015-16 season.
After missing half of the 2014-15 regular season due to injuries, Day Chief ended the campaign with 35 points (14G, 21A) in 36 games and posted a team best +13 rating. He was named team captain in late February, and heads into training camp in a couple of weeks as the odds on favorite to wear the “C” for the coming season.
In the Kelly Cup playoffs, Day Chief was equally as dangerous offensively, finishing in a tie for the team lead in points with eight (4G, 4A) in 13 playoff contests.
“I’m definitely excited to be back for my fourth season. I’ve worked hard to stay in shape and I’m ready to go to work,” Day Chief told Rush Director of Media Relations, Mark Binetti. “Following my injuries during last season, I spent as much time on the ice as possible when I was cleared. With regards to a leadership role, whether I’m wearing a letter or not I approach it all the same way, which is coming prepared to work as hard as I can.”
In 131 career games in the Black Hills, Day Chief is quickly working his way up the leaderboard in a number of offensive categories all-time for the Rush. He ranks fifth all-time in +/- (+34,) sixth all-time in goals (49,) assists (61), and seventh in total points (110.)
“A healthy Winston is an elite player at the AA level, and our hope is that Winston is healthy all year long so that we can see him reach his true potential on the ice because I feel he is a very special player,” said Rush Head Coach Joe Ferras.
The re-signing of Day Chief brings the number of signings to the training camp roster to 20.