TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye, East Coast Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, have announced that former Bemidji State University forward Charlie O’Connor has signed a contract to play out the remainder of the 2016-17 season.
The Elk Grove Village, Ill. native could make his professional debut as early as 7:15 p.m. (ET) tonight when the Walleye host the Florida Everblades and fellow 2016-17 BSU senior Brendan Harms at the Huntington Center.
O’Connor will play out the remainder of the season with Toledo, which includes 10 regular-season games and the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The Walleye currently hold down first place in the Central Division of the ECHL’s Western Conference with a league-best overall record of 46-14-2-1. Toledo was the first team to clinch a berth in the ECHL Playoffs and will host two games of the division best-of-seven semifinal, series April 14-15.
O’Connor posted a career-best 19 points (6g-13a), which included two power-play goals and a game-winner in 41 games, as a senior captain.
A three-time recipient of the WCHA’s Scholar-Athlete Award as well as a three-time member of the league’s all-academic team, O’Connor posted 53 career points (26g-27a) in four seasons and 148 games for BSU. He finished his career ranked among the top 35 on BSU’s Division I-era scoring list.
The Beavers finished the 2016-17 campaign with an overall record of 22-16-3, to mark the first time BSU has posted at least 22 wins since the 2009-10 season. Bemidji State also recorded a 20-6-2-2 record in WCHA play, to set a program record for wins as a member of the league (since 2010-11), won its 22nd conference title and its first as a member of the WCHA, the MacNaughton Cup and treated its dedicated fans to a Sanford Center-record 13 home wins.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).