was a third-team All-WCHA honoree as a sophomore.
Statistics: After notching 22 points as a Gopher
rookie, Irmen was one helper shy of doubling his offensive
production in year two, recording 24 goals and 19 assists
as a sophomore. Minnesota was 20-8-0 last season in games
where Irmen had at least one point, and just 8-7-1 when he
was kept off the scoresheet.
He Does: As a freshman, Irmen got to watch quite
a show, as the likes of Thomas Vanek, Grant Potulny, Troy
Riddle, Matt Koalska and Keith Ballard lit up the Mariucci
Arena ice. As a sophomore, with those five players gone, Gophers
coach Don Lucia shoved Irmen and fellow North Dakotan Ryan
Potulny into the offensive spotlight, giving them key roles
on the top line and on the power play. The result was the
No. 1 ranking in the nation for part of the season, and a
trip to the Frozen Four.
Bigger Picture: A promise-filled season is fast approaching,
as one of the most heralded freshman classes in college hockey
heads for Dinkytown. But Irmen is staying low-key, despite
that feeling of anticipation one gets when the possibility
of something great awaits. Just as the Gopher roster has changed,
so has Irmen’s role shifted dramatically in three years,
from eager freshman to junior leader. Irmen says his favorite
play is to, “go into the corner and muck it up, then
feed the puck to the front of the net.” With the likes
of Blake Wheeler, Tyler Hirsch, Ryan Potulny and Phil Kessel
expected to be waiting at the top of the crease to take that
pass from Irmen this season, his trips into the corners are
suddenly looking like high-percentage plays.
head coach Don Lucia on Irmen: “It seemed like
last season when Danny and Ryan (Potulny) scored, we won.
When they didn’t score, we didn’t always know
who was going to. Danny’s a guy that you can pencil
in for a good effort every time he steps on the ice, either
in practice or in a game.”