BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team has announced the additions of Kirklan Irey (F, Bismarck, N.D.) and Donte Lawson (F, Taconite, Minn.) to open the NCAA’s signing period. Both players have inked the necessary NCAA paperwork and plan to begin their Beaver Hockey and collegiate academic careers in the fall of 2021.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
* Kirklan Irey (F, 5-10, 165; 1/8/2001; Bismarck, N.D.) is in his third season of junior hockey. After playing for the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League in 2018-19, he is currently in his second season a member of the United States Hockey League’s Sioux City Musketeers. In just three appearances this season, Irey has a goal and an assist on seven shots. His goal came as a part of the Musketeers’ power-play unit. The alternate captain is currently tied for fourth on the team in scoring for a Sioux City team that is 1-2-0-0 to sit sixth in the USHL’s Western Conference.
A year ago, Irey logged 17 points (6g-11a) seeing time in 45 of the Musketeers’ 49 games. As a member of the Sioux City special team unit, he posted a power-play goal, while netting one game-winning tally. In 2018-19, he posted 18 points (6g-12a) in 51 games for Bismarck and led the Bobcats to the NAHL postseason.
Also an accomplished high school player, Irey helped lead Bismarck High School to the 2017-18 North Dakota State High School Tournament title game before falling to Grand Forks Central. He finished the season as the leading scorer in the state after netting 33 goals and 45 assists for 78 points as a junior.
“Kirklan Irey is a player with great hockey sense,” said BSU Assistant Coach Travis Winter. He has a quick stick and ability to make plays and elevate the puck around the net. He has three years of junior hockey experience and is currently an assistant captain in Sioux City.” Winter added, “We are excited to add Kirklan and his high character into our program.”
* Donte Lawson (F, 5-11, 165; 11/3/2000; Taconite, Minn.) is in his second full season of junior hockey and is currently plying for NAHL’s Minot Minotauros. The Minnesota native has made two appearances and collected two assists this season for Minot.
A three-year standout for the Greenway High School, he scored 82 goals to go with 67 assists for 149 points in 75 games as a prep. He finished the 2017-18 season among the top five goal scorers in Minnesota after recording 36 goals and 30 assists for Greenway. In 2018-19, he helped lead Greenway to the Minnesota State High School League Tournament championship game before falling to St. Cloud Cathedral. He netted 27 goals and 24 assists for 51 points, which included an astounding 10 goals and 10 assists in six postseason games. At the conclusion of the season, he was selected to the Minnesota Associated Press All-State Second Team. Lawson was also the 2019 Herb Brooks Award winner for representing the willingness to sacrifice for team, integrity, work ethic and leadership.
Prior to join Minot, Lawson played one season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL. In 35 games, he recorded four goals and five assists for nine points.
“Donte Lawson has great offensive instincts. He has an ability to see plays before they happen and can create offense anywhere in the offensive zone,” said Winter. “He is a high-character person and a local product. Donte helped lead Greenway High School to Class “A” State Championship game in 2019.”
The Beavers are just one game into the COVID-19 modified 2020-21 season. At 0-1-0, Bemidji State returns to action Dec. 12-13 when it welcomes Michigan Tech to Sanford Center to wrap up nonconference play. The Beavers and Huskies will hit the ice at 4:07 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 before a 2:07 p.m. opening faceoff Sunday Dec. 13.
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).