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Bemidji State alum Tyler Lehrke signs first pro hockey contract

Tyler Lehrke signed with Rio Grande Valley of the CHL Thursday. Pioneer File Photo/Eric Stromgren

Bemidji State alum and Park Rapids native Tyler Lehrke signed a professional contract Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees of the Central Hockey League Thursday.

The contract, his first as a professional, lasts for the 2010-11 season.

He appeared in 123 career games for BSU and finished his career with 18 goals and 28 points.

Lehrke scored nine goals and had 15 assists last season as a senior.

"Tyler is a kid that I targeted as soon as our 2009-10 season ended," Rio Grand Valley head coach Chris Brooks said. "I've seen him play since he was 15. He fits with the culture of our team. He is a smart and hardworking player that has been well coached through junior hockey and college. He wants to play at the highest level he can possibly play at and deciding to play in Rio Grande Valley is the first step in helping him chase his dreams."

Before playing at Bemidji State, Lehrke spent two junior hockey seasons in the United States Hockey League as a member of the Green Bay Gamblers.

"I am extremely excited to head down south to play for the Killer Bees," Lehrke said. "They have a first class organization and I want to do everything I can to help the team win and succeed."