ECHL: Another Rapid City Rush Forward Signs with the Dundee Stars in the EIHL

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

Rapid City Rush forward Keanu Yamamoto has signed to play in Scotland for the 2024-25 season. He will be joining teammate Brett Gravelle and the Dundee Stars of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), whose teams are located in the United Kingdom.

Collegiate Career

Before going pro, Yamamoto spent five seasons at McGill University in USports playing in four of the five seasons with the 2020-21 season being cancelled due to Covid. While at McGill, Yamamoto played in 98 games where he had 29 goals and 53 assists for 82 points and he had 94 penalty minutes.

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

In the four seasons he played at McGill, Yamamoto played in the playoffs every season. He played in a total of 21 games where he had nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points with ten penalty minutes. McGill won the Conference Championship Yamamoto’s freshman year in 2017-18 and then suffered a Division Semifinal loss, Division Quarterfinal loss, and then a Conference Final loss in Yamamoto’s sophomore, senior, and fifth year seasons.

In his final season at McGill, Yamamoto played in 16 games where he had five goals and 12 assists for 17 points with 38 penalty minutes. After completing his collegiate career, he signed with the Rapid City Rush for the start of the 2022-23 ECHL Season.

Professional Career

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

Yamamoto joined the Rush at the start of the 2022-23 season where he played in 71 games scoring 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points. He had 28 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -15. In the 2023-24 season, Yamamoto played in all 72 games where he had 19 goals and 29 assists for 48 points. He had 24 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -13.

Through his two seasons in the ECHL, Yamamoto played in 143 games, only missing one game through the two seasons. He had 37 goals and 56 assists for 93 points. He had 52 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of -28.

Effect on the 2024-25 Rapid City Rush (Opinion)

Photo Credit: Rapid City Rush via Instagram

Losing Yamamoto, along with Brett Gravelle, is going to be a huge loss for the Rapid City Rush in the 2024-25 season. Yamamoto was one of Rapid City’s point leaders, as he was in the top five for goals, assists, and points in both seasons he was with the Rush. He was not the biggest player, standing at only 5’6″, but he was able to squeeze through smaller gaps than most players can, and he was also able to use his speed to create breakaways, man advantages heading up the ice, or even prevent breakaways and man advantages for the opposing team. Rapid City is going to need to find more players who can not only score but also set up plays in order to find success next season, as two of their top five point leaders in Yamamoto and Gravelle are now gone.

Felicity Harding

Hello! I'm Felicity and I mainly cover the Rapid City Rush in the ECHL here at Inside the Rink. You can find me on Instagram and X/Twitter at @fharding05

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