NAHL, NAPHL grad Rueschhoff signs NHL contract with Rangers
March 24, 2020
The NHL’s New York Rangers announced that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward and NAHL and NAPHL grad Austin Rueschhoff on an entry-level contract. Rueschhoff's contract begins at the start of the 2020-21 season.
Rueschhoff, 22, skated in 36 games with Western Michigan University this season, registering 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points, along with a plus-nine rating and 24 penalty minutes. He established collegiate career-highs in plus/minus rating and shots on goal (94), and he tied collegiate career-highs in games played and assists in 2019-20. Rueschhoff tied for second on Western Michigan in goals, ranked third in points, and ranked second in shots on goal this season. He tallied 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) over the final 12 games in 2019-20. Western Michigan posted a 14-4-1 record in the 19 games in which Rueschhoff registered a point this season, including a 9-3-0 record in the 12 games which he notched a goal.
The 6-7, 230-pounder 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 and 106 penalty minutes. 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. He established collegiate career-highs in goals (13), assists (14), and points (27) as a sophomore in 2018-19, and he was named Western Michigan University's Rookie of the Year in 2017-18.
"Austin's improvement here at Western Michigan was impressive," said WMU head coach Andy Murray. "A quality young man, his compete level got higher each year and an increased focus on the details have led him to this NHL opportunity with the Rangers. We are excited for him and know he has a huge upside.”
Prior to beginning his collegiate career at Western Michigan University, the Wentzville, Missouri native played the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in the NAHL. The 2014-15 season was spent with the Minnesota Wilderness, Janesville Jets and Minnesota Magicians, as he played in 26 games and recorded seven points. During the 2015-16 seson, Rueschhoff spent the entire season with the Austin Bruins, recording 31 points in 52 games played.
Prior to playing in the NAHL, Rueschhoff played two seasons in the NAPHL for the St. Louis Selects from 2012-14. In 41 career NAPHL games, Rueschhoff recorded 43 points.