Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bighorns ink Rauch for '05-06

The Helena Bighorns of the NAHL signed three players to tender sheets on Monday and one was defenseman Philip Rauch, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound native of Lambertville, Michigan.

Rauch has been a solid performer for the Toledo Cherokee (CSHL) this season. In 37 games, Rauch has piled up eight goals and 13 assists to go along with 78 penalty minutes, proving he is every bit of the player Bighorns head coach Brent Agrusa has come to know.

“Rauch is a rugged two-way defenseman, who does it at both ends of the ice,” claimed Agrusa. “He has a good knowledge of the defensive zone and is a good candidate to step in next year a fill a solid role.”

Agrusa attributes the signing of Rauch to Cherokee GM Mike Robertson.

“Mike was instrumental in recruiting current Bighorn and former Cherokee Larry Willard to our program,” says the Bighorns coach. “Larry is having a good season and Mike likes our program so he was very helpful in the signing process.”

Agrusa also attributes Rauch’s development to solid coaching from Toledo’s Chris Varga. Rauch is the second Cherokee to sign with the Bighorns in the last two years and the ninth player from the CSHL in that time span.

Helena president Mike Butters also had good things to say about Rauch.

“Philip is the only 1987-born defenseman in the top ten scoring of the CSHL," noted Butters. "He has a lot of raw tools and possesses plenty of upside. We all look forward to seeing him in Chicago this May.”

Rauch will get his first opportunity to impress the Bighorn brass at their summer prospect camp this May in Chicago. Players from all over the country will attend this prospect camp with hopes of joining Rauch in a Bighorns uniform in September.

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