AMARILLO, Texas – Numbers can be deceiving. North Iowa Bulls forward Kyrre Hellerud did not register a point after joining the team at the end of January, but his addition for the final six weeks of North Iowa’s season was far from inconsequential, giving the team a key addition for its depth on the forward lines.
Now, Hellerud will return to the team with which he started the 2019-20 season, signing a North American Hockey League tender with the Amarillo Bulls. That tender became official on Monday, giving the Bulls their fifth NAHL tender signing of the season and fourth in less than a month.
The native of Ski, Norway played eight games for the Bulls down the stretch and proved valuable in the team’s run to its seventh division championship in nine years.
“He came in and struggled a bit early, because he wasn’t healthy,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “He had a bit of the cold and flu that was going around at that time, but once he got settled into being a responsible, reliable fourth-line center. He was really good at winning draws, so we used him in some critical situations in games late in the season.”
Hellerud began his season with a 19-game stint in Amarillo, posting four goals and an assist. He buried a second-period chance on November 8 against Corpus Christi in his American junior debut, after playing several years in the Manglerud program in his native Norway.
Nearly 50 North Iowa players have appeared in an NAHL game after playing for the Bulls. Eight of those players have gone on to NCAA Division I rosters.
Hellerud’s tender serves as an agreement to begin the upcoming season with the Amarillo Bulls – his NAHL playing rights once again belong to the Bulls, and he is no longer eligible for the NAHL Draft, scheduled for June 2. Amarillo spent much of the season battling Lone Star for the top spot in the South Division before ending the abbreviated season in second place, three points back of the Brahmas.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Kyrre Hellerud on his tender agreement with the Amarillo Bulls, and wish him well on his return to the North American Hockey League.