THE BLADE Enlarge | Buy This Photo
The Toledo Walleye re-signed St. Francis de Sales High School graduate Phil Rauch on Friday.
Rauch, a defenseman who was born in Lambertville, Mich., made his pro debut with Toledo last season. Rauch, 25, played in all 72 games for the Walleye.
The stay-at-home defenseman scored four goals and dished out nine assists last season.
After graduating from St. Francis in 2005, Rauch played four seasons at Canisius College before turning pro in 2011.
"It's amazing to get to play hockey in my hometown," Rauch said. "I am looking forward to another great year in downtown Toledo playing in front of our fans."
Rauch [pronounced ROWK] had 51 penalty minutes last season. He is known to block shots and is a solid penalty killer who takes care of his own end.
Rauch had 13 points in his college career at Canisius, which is a Division I school in Buffalo. The 6-foot, 200-pound left-handed shooter also had 118 penalty minutes.
Walleye coach Nick Vitucci called Rauch "a pleasant surprise."
"He is a terrific young man and a great player for us on and off the ice," Vitucci said. "He will be an important component to our hockey club going forward."
Although he attended St. Francis, Rauch did not play for the Knights' hockey team. He played youth travel hockey with a team based in Detroit called the Michigan Ice Dogs.
Vitucci initially signed Rauch last July upon the recommendation of former Storm defenseman B.J. Adams, who is an assistant at Canisius.
The Walleye will open the season on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Huntington Center against the Kalamazoo Wings.
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.