RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames, announced the team has signed defenseman Zack Hoffman and forward Maurizio Colella for the 2023-24 season.
Hoffman joins the Rush after skating all of last season with the Wichita Thunder where he had six assists 52 games. Hailing from Newcastle, Ontario, Hoffman earned his first taste of pro hockey in the SPHL with the Fayetteville Marksmen, scoring a goal and five points in 25 games, with an additional helper in three playoff games in 2021-22.
Before turning professional, Hoffman played two seasons in USports with Saint Mary’s University. There, he played 32 games, earning four points (1g-3a). Prior to his collegiate days, he had a banner season with the CCHL’s Navan Grads, racking up 44 points (11g-33a) in 62 games, collecting honors for CCHL All-Graduate Team, First All-Star Team, Defenseman of the Year and Most Valuable Player.
Colella returns to North American professional hockey with the Rush following a season overseas in Italy. Between both the Alps Hockey League and the Italian Hockey League, he appeared in 22 contests and earned 24 points (10g-14a) with HC Merano.
Originally from Tottenham, Ontario, Colella, 26, enters his first full season of professional hockey in North America. He last played in the ECHL at the end of the 2021-22 season with the South Carolina Stingrays and Newfoundland Growlers, totaling two points (1g-1a) in 13 games between the two teams. Before that stint, Colella played three years of Canadian college hockey with Acadia University, earning 30 points in 67 games. Prior to college, he made his professional debut at the end of the 2017-18 season as a member of the Worcester Railers, playing in three games. This followed a successful major-junior career in the Ontario Hockey League, where over parts of five years, he earned 130 points in 278 games with the Flint Firebirds, North Bay Battalion, Hamilton Bulldogs and Belleville Bulls.