BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team has announced the addition of Alex Adams (Grand Rapids, Minn.), Tyler Jubenvill (Gilbert Plains, Manitoba) and Tyler Kirkup (Virden, Manitoba). All three have signed the necessary NCAA paperwork and plan to begin their Beaver Hockey career in the fall of 2018.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
* Alex Adams (F, 6-1, 201; 12/30/1997; Grand Rapids, Minn.) is a captain in his second full season with the Minot Minotauros of the North American Hockey League. Playing in 50 of 59 games this season, he is fourth on the team with 33 points (13g-20a), which includes 13 goals and a game-winner. A valued member of the Minotauros’ power-play unit, he has seven points (3g-4a) on the man advantage. Averaging more than 0.66 points per game, he has logged a point in 25 games this season and has posted six multi-point games, including a pair of three-point nights, Nov. 25 and Dec. 8. He currently carries a +3 plus/minus rating.
The Minotauros are 28-26-4-2 this season and clinched a spot in the NAHL’s postseason as the No. 4 seed in the league’s Central Division.
In his first NAHL season, Adams led the team with 29 goals, including a team-high six game-winners, and was third on the team in scoring with 48 points (29g-19a). Following the season, the NAHL’s fifth leading goal scorer, Adams was named to the NAHL All-Central Division Rookie Team and to the NAHL All-Rookie Second Team.
Also a member of the Grand Rapids High School boy’s hockey team, Adams logged an impressive 103 points (45g-58a) in 66 games between 2013-16 and led Grand Rapids to a third place finish in the 2016 Class AA Minnesota State Tournament.
“Alex is a hard-nosed forward with hockey sense who possesses major goal-scoring ability. With the addition of Alex to our hockey team we gain a player who has a serious attribute in his puck possession game,” said Eddie Olczyk, BSU’s assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. “His strength and instincts to play around and through traffic in the offensive zone are a big reason why he has been able to score in high school and at the junior levels.”
Olczyk added, “He is currently the captain of his junior team and we are thrilled to be adding another player with leadership qualities. The fact that he is from Northern Minnesota is important to us in terms of recruiting and our geographical footprint.
“Alex plays for a tremendous head coach in Marty Murray in Minot, and we are confident that he will be prepared to step in and push the competition throughout our lineup.”
* Tyler Jubenvill (D, 5-11, 181; 11/30/1999; Gilbert Plains, Manitoba) recently completed his first season in the United States Hockey League, playing 56 of 58 games for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He totaled 18 points (5g-13a) to rank second among the team’s blueliners in scoring. Five of his 18 points came on the power play, which included a pair of goals. He was named to the NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch List’ with a C Rating, indicating him as a candidate to be drafted in the fourth, fifth or sixth round.
The RoughRiders went 24-24-8-2 in the regular season to place seventh in the USHL’s Eastern Conference and narrowly miss the league’s playoffs.
A three-year junior hockey veteran, Jubenvill also played two seasons with the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. In 112 games for the Flyers he piled up 66 points (18g-48a) and netted six points (1g-5a) in 22 postseason games. He was named to the MJHL All-Rookie team following the 2015-16 season and earned a spot on the MJHL Second All-Star Team to cap his career at Winkler in 2016-17.
“Tyler is a very skilled puck-moving defenseman whose ability to see the ice, make plays and create on the power play are reasons we really wanted to make him a Beaver,” said Olczyk. “He is very quick on his edges and his vision allows him to find the middle of the ice and make plays through layers when under pressure.
“On the offensive zone blue line, his lateral skating and offensive instincts with the puck will be a threat in college. He has natural instincts on the power play and we will be looking to utilize those over the course of Tyler’s career here at Bemidji State.”
Olczyk added, “He comes from a great Manitoba Junior Hockey League program and coach Ken Pearson, where he played for two seasons. Tyler has also developed his game immensely during his final year of junior hockey thanks to legendary Cedar Rapids Head Coach Mark Carlson and Assistant Coach, and former Beaver, Ben Kinne.”
* Tyler Kirkup (F, 6-1, 198; 4/3/1998; Virden, Manitoba) is a MJHL veteran who has logged nearly 200 games over the course of his three-year career with Virden Oil Capitals. Coming off a 2017-18 season during which he served as the team’s alternate captain and was named to the MJHL’s Second All-Star Team, Kirkup has posted 75 points (40g-35a) in 60 games, which includes four points (1g-3a) in eight playoff games. His 40 goals was not only a team-high, he also led the MJHL. He paced the Oil Capitals with 10 power-play goals and was second on the team with 20 points on the man advantage, while his four game-winning goals tied for second on the team. At 1.25 points per game, he has recorded 25 multi-point games, which includes a five-point (2g-3a) performance in the 2017-18 season opener.
Virden finished second in the MJHL and clinched a spot in the 2017-18 postseason. At 40-17-2-1 this season the Oil Capitals are 9-1-0 in the playoffs and currently hold a 1-0 lead in a best-of-seven, third round playoff series with Steinbach.
A contributor for his hometown Virden club from day one, he has consistently elevated his play. He recorded 33 points (10g-23a) in 60 games, playing as a teammate of former Beaver Zach Whitecloud, in 2015-16 and netted 48 points (17g-31a) in 57 games in 2016-17 before his league-leading 2017-18 goal-scoring campaign.
“Tyler is a 200-foot hockey player whose compete level and toughness are big reasons he has had a successful junior hockey career,” commented Olczyk. “He has tremendous strength, which allows him to out-battle opponents and create time and space for himself and his teammates. Tyler is very good in the face-off circle and understands the importance supporting the puck in all three zones. In addition, he has a very heavy shot and has shown that he can score in big situations.
“One of his greatest assets is his ability to protect the puck below the top of the circles in the offensive zone,” commented Olczyk. “His determination to break free and fight for space against defenders in the offensive zone is something that I really respect about his game.”
Olczyk added, “He comes from a great program in Virden and a great coach in Troy Leslie, who has done a fantastic job preparing Tyler for the jump to college hockey”
BSU’s regular period signees join Nicholas Cardelli (Wood Dale, Ill.), a forward who has played for the Fargo Force, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Youngstown Phantoms of the Unites States Hockey League this season and defenseman Darby Gula (Steinbach, Manitoba), of the Steinbach Pistons, who both signed NCAA National Letters of Intent with the Beavers during the early signing period.
The Beavers finished the 2017-18 campaign with an overall record of 16-14-8 and recorded a 13-9-6-4 mark in WCHA play, to earn fourth place in the WCHA standings and the right to host the first round of the WCHA Playoffs for the third time in four years. Senior goaltender Michael Bitzer earned a spot as a member of the All-WCHA Second Team and 18 BSU student-athletes were recognized with 2017-18 WCHA All-Academic awards. Following the season, six Beavers signed contracts to play professional hockey, including sophomore defender Zach Whitecloud, who inked an entry-level contract with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.
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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).