Senior defenseman Kyle Lawson signed a two-year NHL Entry Level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.  He will start his pro career with the AHL's Albany River Rats on Friday night.

Irish Defenseman Kyle Lawson Signs With Carolina Hurricanes

March 11, 2010

Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame hockey senior defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) signed a National Hockey League entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday afternoon. The announcement was made by Jason Karmanos, vice-president and assistant general manager of the Hurricanes. Lawson’s two-year contract will begin next season (2010-11). He will join the Hurricane’s American Hockey League affiliate in Albany, N.Y., for the remainder of the season on an amateur tryout.

The 23-year old defenseman is expected to begin his professional career on Friday night, March 12, when the Albany River Rats travel to Rochester, N.Y. to face the Rochester Americans. He was selected by Carolina in the seventh round, 198th overall of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

An alternate captain for the Irish in each of the last two seasons, Lawson was an honorable mention selection to the 2010 all-CCHA team on Wednesday. For his senior season, he finished the year ranked third on the team in scoring with four goals and 18 assists for 22 points. Among his four goals were three power-play tallies, one short-handed goal and two game winners. His 73 blocked shots were tops on the team while his 22 points were fourth among CCHA defensemen.

A three-time CCHA defenseman of the week during the 2009-10 season, Lawson finished his Notre Dame career playing in 161 games with 17 goals and 73 assists for 90 points. He had 10 power-play goals, two short-handed goals and five game winners while turning in a +41. The talented blueliner closed his Irish career tied for third in games played (161) and is ranked eighth among all Notre Dame defensemen with 90 points.

As a junior, Lawson was a second team all-CCHA selection and was selected by the conference coaches as the CCHA’s top defensive defenseman. He also won Notre Dame’s William Donald Nyrop Award as the team’s top defenseman.

In 2007-08, Lawson was an honorable mention all-CCHA player and was named to the NCAA Frozen Four’s all-tournament team. During his sophomore year, Lawson had his best offensive season with five goals and 21 assists for 26 points.

As a freshman, the New Hudson, Mich., native was selected to the CCHA’s all-rookie team along with Ryan Thang and Kevin Deeth as the Notre Dame hockey team captured its first CCHA regular-season and tournament championship and a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

During his rookie season, Lawson also played for the U.S. Junior National team where he was an alternate captain, helping the United States to a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships.

Lawson will graduate from Notre Dame in May with degrees in psychology and computer applications.