O’Rourke, Young added to Rush blue line

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and AHL’s Springfield Falcons, announced the signing of rookie defenseman Brian O’Rourke and returning defenseman Michael Young for the 2015-16 season.

O’Rourke comes to the professional ranks after four seasons with the University of Nebraska-Omaha. While with the Mavericks, the 6’1”, 207-pound defenseman played in 121 games, recording 13 points (3g-10a). Last season, as a captain of the Mavs, O’Rourke helped guide his team to their third NCAA tournament appearance, and the first Frozen Four in school history, falling to the eventual National Champion, Providence.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., O’Rourke, was named to the All-Conference Academic Team, in both the WCHA and now the NCHC, in his final three seasons at UNO. Prior to playing collegiately, the 24-year-old played with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL and won a Clark Cup championship in the 2009-10 season.

Young spent last season on an AHL contract with the Providence Bruins, and started the year with the South Carolina Stingrays, competing in 33 games while notching 2 assists with just 15 penalty minutes. The 6’3”, 215-pound blue-liner was then assigned to the Rush in the final weeks of the regular season and recorded an assist in the final eight games of the regular season. He added six points (2g-4a) in 12 games during the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Prior to turning pro, he spent four seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he recorded 68 points (13g-55a) in 148 games with the Mavericks.