Coming off of a season where the Charlotte Rush again had a great year, but came up short of their end goal, of their two top USPHL teams winning the National Championship, they have added some new talent to come on with a host of superb returners. We will be writing in depth pieces on some top returners for the Rush within the next week or so, but wanted to take the time to talk about what some of their new players bring. The person responsible for helping get these players to the Rush is Scouting Director Matt Dibble. The man of many talents has a lot of new players coming to Charlotte, and we will talk about five here through his eyes. Dibble’s thoughts are in quotes with our observations on each player coming after that.
“Livio Azevedo is a kid who played with me in the summer this year pretty much randomly. He is from Europe and his advisor reached out trying to get him some exposure state side. Is was awesome to have him because every game he got better and by the end of the weekend…i wanted to see more and more. I expect him to be a huge part of the rush this year”
Azevedo is a speedy Swiss winger who will make his North American debut for the Rush this year. Once he adjusts to the smaller ice, the speed at which he plays should translate well. With his five foot nine inch frame, he has the upside with coaching and development of another Rush Alum and Division One star, AIC forward Blake Bennett.
“Jack Lamothe comes to us from the Generals midget program where he played for Eric Progen. Bryan Erikson recommended him for the Rush, and I’m super excited to see him in a new setting away from home. He’s an awesome kid with a great work ethic, he should do well.”
Lamothe is a physical power forward who will look to develop his offense at the tier three level. He plays with an imposing presence, and has the long term potential to be a leader for the Rush, and will create space for the speed the Rush have an abundance of.
“Connor Humphrey is a family from Rochester who I have known for a long time. His father John is a great friend, and Connor as well as his brother Blake are long time Roc City players. Connor is an under-the-radar but super skilled kid who should bring a lot to the Rush. Looking forward to seeing him make a transition to junior hockey”
Humphrey will have a chance to make his mark at the next level right away. The Rush have thrived in being the first stop for a player on the ladder of development, and Humphrey will have every chance to step in right away and work for a big role.
“I really like what Brett Levesque brings to the table for the Rush. He is a solid defenseman with ability to generate offense. His size and compete should help him have success quickly”
Levesque plays with the ability to not just generate offense, but he also thinks the game well. As he develops in junior hockey and continues to grow, his offensive motor and high intelligence will help him get seen at the next level.
“Carter Schram is a kid I met a few years back at the NAHL combine. Although, I wasn’t involved in recruiting him…I was excited when I heard he was signed on with the Rush. He is a kid that has good power in his game with ability to score goals”
Schram is a veteran who plays a physical game. He is coming to the tier three Rush to get more minutes in his last year of junior hockey. He is a leader who will fight for his teammates and will make those around him better. He is another new player who is bringing a physical element to his game and should work for minutes right away.
All of these new players, the skilled veterans returning, and those not yet discussed will be integral to helping the Rush get back to where they want to be,at the top of tier three hockey.
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