NEW YORK, July 18, 2022 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forwards Austin Rueschhoff and Turner Elson, as well as defenseman Andy Welinski on one-year contracts.
Rueschhoff, 24, played in 59 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2021-22, notching 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points. On Hartford last season, he ranked sixth in goals and 11th in points. From January 12-19, 2022, the 6-7, 230 pound forward registered goals in four-straight contests (6G).
The Wentzville, Missouri native has skated in parts of two seasons with the Wolf Pack, accumulating 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points in 82 games. Prior to turning pro at the start of the 2020-21 season, Rueschhoff skated in 105 career collegiate games over three seasons (2017-18 – 2019-20) with Western Michigan University, registering 35 goals and 35 assists for 70 points, along with a plus-nine rating. Over the three seasons he played in the NCAA, Rueschhoff was one of 10 collegiate players who registered at least 35 goals, 35 assists, and 100 penalty minutes.
New York originally signed Rueschhoff as a college free agent on March 20, 2020.
Elson, 29, played two games with the Detroit Red Wings in 2021-22, recording one shot. He spent most of his season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL), tallying a career-high 21 goals, 24 assists and 45 points. As an alternate captain for Grand Rapids, Elson ranked tied for second on the team in goals, fourth in points and tied for fourth in assists.
The New Westminster, British Columbia native has skated in three career NHL games, two games with the Red Wings and one with the Calgary Flames on April 9, 2016. In his NHL debut, he recorded an assist in 14:54 of ice time against Minnesota. Elson has played in parts of 11 seasons in the AHL, split between Abbotsford, Adirondack, Stockton, San Antonio, and Grand Rapids, compiling 95 goals and 115 assists for 210 points and a plus-29 rating in 469 games.
In 2013-14, the 6-0, 191-pound forward was a part of the ECHL’s Kelly Cup winning Alaska Aces.
Welinski, 29, spent the 2021-22 season with the Stockton Heat, the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Calgary Flames. With Stockton, Welinski notched three goals and 16 assists for 19 points and a plus-12 rating in 39 games. He ranked fourth on the club among defenseman in points and tied for third in plus/minus.
The Duluth, Minnesota native has 46 career NHL games to his name, all with the Anaheim Ducks (2017-18 – 2020-21), notching six points (1G-5A). Welinski scored his first career NHL goal on March 29, 2019 against Calgary. Welinski set NHL career-highs in 2018-19 when he recorded four points (1G-3A) in 26 games with the Ducks.
A 6-1, 201 pound defenseman, Welinski has accumulated 35 goals and 88 assists for 123 points and a plus-3 in 230 career AHL games, split between the Heat, San Diego Gulls and Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In 2017-18 with San Diego, he notched AHL career highs in goals (10), assists (24) and points (34). That season, he earned a trip to the AHL All-Star Game.
Prior to going pro, Welinski played four years (2013-14 – 2014-15) at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he served as captain during his time there.
Welinski was originally selected by the Ducks in the third round, 83rd overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.