Ice Hockey

Marcou, Irwin Sign With NHL's San Jose Sharks

Matt Irwin

Matt Irwin

March 23, 2010

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Junior forward James Marcou and sophomore defenseman Matt Irwin have officially signed entry-level contracts with the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League as announced by Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson on Tuesday. The duo join Casey Wellman (Minnesota Wild) in signing free agent contracts following the Minutemen's 2009-10 season.

Wellman and the Wild will face San Jose on Tuesday night at 5 PM. Wellman picked up his first career NHL assist last Friday in a loss to Columbus.

Marcou and Irwin are expected to begin playing in the American Hockey League with the Worcester Sharks where they will be rejoined with former teammate Cory Quirk.

San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed unrestricted free agent forward James Marcou and defenseman Matt Irwin to entry-level contracts. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Marcou spent the last three seasons at the University of Massachusetts and in 2009-10, finished with a team-high 51 points in 36 games (11 goals, 40 assists). The junior led UMass in scoring for the third straight season and set a single-season school record for assists (40). His 96 career assists are most in school history. Marcou has accumulated 130 points (34 goals, 96 assists) in 111 collegiate games and was named a second-team Hockey East All-Star. The Minuteman assistant captain has been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award in two of his three seasons and finished the season first nationally in assists per game. He was also named Second Team All American in 2008-09.



The five-foot-eight, 165-pound native of Kings Park, New York also spent two seasons in the USHL with the Waterloo Black Hawks (2005-2007) prior to attending UMass, posting 103 points (42 goals, 61 assists) in 109 career games. He led the team to an Anderson Cup Championship in 2007 and played for the U.S. National Under-18 team that won the Gold Medal in 2005.

"James has excelled during his collegiate career," said Wilson. "He's a creative player that consistently produces and we want to commend the job that UMass Head Coach Don Cahoon and his assistants, Red Gendron and Len Quesnelle have done. We are excited to add James to our organization."

Irwin spent the last two seasons at the University of Massachusetts and in 2009-10, finished with 24 points in 36 games (7 goals, 17 assists). He finished the season with 16 penalty minutes while setting career-highs in games played, assists and points while tying his career high in goals. Irwin has accumulated 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 67 collegiate games.

The six-foot-one, 200-pound native of Brentwood Bay, British Columbia also spent four seasons in the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers (2004-2008) prior to attending UMass, including posting 111 points (41 goals, 70 assists) in 178 career games with Nanaimo. The two-time BCHL All-Star was named the Coastal Conference Defenseman of the Year two years in a row (2006-08).

"Matt is a pro-style defenseman with an excellent blend of offense and defense," said Wilson.


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