“You there boy, what day is today?”
“Today? Why it’s National Beaver Day, of course!”
That’s right everyone: Have the local street urchin go down to the market and fetch you the prize turkey hanging in the window. After all, it’s National Beaver Day. No, for real.
With that in mind, there’s some fitting news: Bemidji State forward Brendan Harms was named the winner of the 2017 Senior CLASS Award.
The award goes to the most outstanding Division I student-athlete, and Harms is the first Beaver to win it. CLASS, BTW, is an acronym for “Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School” and goes to a senior who has notable achievements on the ice, in the classroom and in the community.
“Winning the Senior CLASS Award really means a lot,” Harms said in a release. “When I saw the list of nominees, they are all great players and they are amazing people too. Just to have the opportunity to be nominated and then to make the short list of finalists was an extreme honor for me. When you put the work in to balance life as a student-athlete and try to contribute more than just on the ice, and then get acknowledged for that, it’s an amazing feeling.”
The Steinbach, Manitoba, native recently competed his BSU career with 21 points (8g, 131). In his career, he scored 88 points (33g-55a) in 141 games. He’s 12th on BSU’s all-time scoring list for the Division I era and is eighth in assists. Off the ice, he has a 4.0 grade point average as a business administration major with a minor in human performance. He also volunteered on campus and also with the Bemidji Boys and Girls Club.
Harms has already started his pro hockey career: He signed a contract with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, where he’s already appeared in four games and scored one goal.
On a more personal note: Harms’ official Senior CLASS bio said this: “Harms is consistently called upon by media as the spokesman of the team due to his well-spoken, honest personality.” Couldn’t be more accurate. Harms was always one of my go-to interviews, and since, to quote Matt Wellens, “The media starts with ME,” he’ll be missed on that front. But I think more generally, the Beavers will miss having him as one of their leaders in the locker room and on the ice. The few games he didn’t play this past season, you could tell his presence was lacking from the lineup.
Aside from Harms, one more Beaver could be honored on National Beaver Day (I’m going to keep riding this train all day, believe me).
Bemidji State goaltender Michael Bitzer is a finalist for the Mike Richter Award. The winner will be announced tonight at an ESPN ceremony in Chicago. Bitzer’s got some tough competition for the award, seeing as how three of the other four finalists were playing in the Frozen Four this week, but he’s got as good a shot as anybody. Still: We’ll see what happens. Check back here for more.