Kirkup – following former Virden Oil Capital, and current Bemidji State Beaver, Zach Whitecloud – will play for the Beavers within the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) next season – a storied franchise of 60 years that has won 13 national championships during its time within the WCHA.
The scholarship offered to Kirkup should not come as a surprise to the highly offensive 19-year-old, as Kirkup has steadily improved his goal and point output in each of his three seasons within the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
In playing every one of his MJHL games for the local junior team in Virden, The 6-foot-1, 205 pound forward put together seasons of 33, 48 and 75 points respectively. Following up a strong rookie season with 17 goals and producing at nearly a point-per-game rate put his name on the radar. With a third year performance of 40 goals and 75 points and 105 penalty minutes in just 60 games made the former Southwest Bantam AAA Cougar a can’t-miss product.
“I’m really excited, as I’ve been working for this for a while now,” the soon-to-be 20-year-old said of the scholarship. “I’ve worked really hard and I’ve gotten bigger and stronger; that’s really helped me on the ice to really just be more dominant and help me play more minutes.”
Kirkup is expected to wear the green and white for Bemidji this coming school year.
By Carter Brooks
Photo provided by Virden Oil Capitals