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The University of Wisconsin Badgers come into the NCAA season tied with the University of Minnesota Gophers as the youngest team in Division One hockey. The Badgers are bringing in not only one of the best Freshman classes they’ve ever had, but one of the best anyone has ever seen.
Despite being such a young group, expectations are sky-high for the Badgers. The young bucks have already made waves at training camp which prompted Associate Coach Mark Osiecki to acknowledge what a spirited camp it was this Fall.
“The competitive spirit that these guys bring every day, the character in the locker room. We just have to do a good job as a staff to understand what level they’re going to bring every day. You see the competition in practice, so we need to make sure we aren’t dragging it out too long and putting them in a situation that they burn out, or absolutely kill each other” he said with a chuckle. “They go at it hard; it’s actually been fun because they’re a competitive group.”
In addition to their potentially historic recruiting class, the Badgers will also have some heavy-hitters returning to Madison in defenseman K’Andre Miller who, despite missing time due to an injury, had an extremely promising freshman season that saw him record five goals and 17 assists for 22 points in just 26 games and Wyatt Kalynuk who finished tied for second in scoring for the Badgers last season. They’ll also have three of their four highest-scoring forwards from last season returning in Sean Dooghe, Linus Weissbach, and Tarek Baker.
The young guns are pushing the upperclassmen about as hard as you could expect for top minutes. Leading the class are first-round picks and former US National Development Team Program (NTDP) teammates Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield.
Caufield, the NTDP’s all-time leading goalscorer, is coming off of a historic season that saw him set