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Bemidji State men's hockey captain Chris McKelvie signs tryout agreement with New York Rangers' affiliate

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Jim Schoenfeld, General Manager of the New York Rangers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack, today announced that the club has signed Bemidji State University's Chris McKelvie to an Amateur Tryout (ATO) agreement.

"This is a great opportunity," said McKelvie. "I think that every young hockey player and collegiate hockey player aspires to play beyond college in professional hockey. It's always been a dream for me and now I am one step closer to achieving that dream."

McKelvie will play out the remainder of the season with the team, which includes at least six regular-season games over the next 10 days, with the hope of catching on with the squad for the 2010-11 campaign.

One of eight BSU players to see time in all 37 games of the 2009-10 campaign, the team captain piled up career-highs in goals (8), assists (10 and points (19) as a senior. He twice earned CHA Player of the Week accolades and was named INCH National Player of the Week Runner Up Nov. 30, 2009 after registering the game-winning goal in addition to an assist to lead the Beavers to a 3-2 victory over then-No. 1 Miami University (Ohio).

In 120 games for Bemidji State, the New Brighton, Minn. native, accumulated 18 goals and 15 assists for 33 points. While at BSU, McKelvie was a part of three College Hockey America (CHA) regular-season championships, a CHA Tournament title and two trips to the NCAA Tournament, which includes the program's first appearance in the Frozen Four in 2009. Equally as talented in the classroom, he is a three-time CHA All-Academic Team member.

The former BSU student-athlete joins former University of Alabama-Huntsville goaltender and CHA colleague Cameron Talbot in Hartford, Conn. for the tryout. Talbot signed an ATO with Hartford Wednesday.

The Beavers, who finished 23-10-4 overall and 14-3-1 in CHA play to garner their fifth conference regular-season crown in the last seven years, wrapped up the 2009-10 campaign with a loss to University of Michigan in the Midwest Regional semifinal contest, marking its fourth trip to the NCAA Division I Tournament since 2005.

The 2010-11 season will be a landmark year for Bemidji State. In addition to the program finding a new conference home in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), arguably the premier collegiate hockey league in the land, the Beavers also pack their bags for a new physical home, moving from the John S. Glas Fieldhouse, that has served as the hockey home of the Beavers since 1967, to the state-of-the-art Bemidji Regional Events Center. BSU is set to break the seal on the new venue Oct. 15-16 when it hosts WCHA-foe University of North Dakota. The two-game set is slated for a 7:37 p.m. opening face off, while the series finale will begin at 7:07 p.m.