4 NHL Draft Picks Highlight Badgers' Strong Incoming Freshman Class

USA Hockey Tyler Inamoto
The Wisconsin hockey team's incoming class received a stamp of approval by the NHL as four Badgers freshmen were selected on day two of the draft on June 24.
Tyler Inamoto, a fifth-round draftee of the Florida Panthers led the way, followed by Linus Weissbach (Buffalo Sabres), Wyatt Kalynuk (Philadelphia Flyers), and Joshua Ess (Chicago Blackhawks), who were each chosen in the seventh round.
Over the past two seasons, Inamoto split time between the United States National Team Development Program of the USHL and the U.S. national team. The Chicago native has tallied two goals and eight points in 31 USHL games.

[tweet url="https://twitter.com/USHL/status/878662123341070336" hide_media="0" hide_thread="1"]
The left-shot defenseman experienced some growth with the U.S. Under-18 team, scoring two goals and 13 points in 51 games. Inamoto was a member of the USA World Juniors squad that claimed the gold this past season, but he failed to record a point in seven tournament games.
Weissbach, drafted 192nd by the Sabres, is a 5-foot-9 Swedish winger who has lit up the scoresheet in each of his past two seasons. In 2015-16, the sly forward scored 17 goals and 48 points in 44 games with Sweden's Under-20 team, Frolunda HC.
This past season, Weissbach moved his game to the USHL, scoring 19 goals and 47 points in 49 games with the Tri-City Storm. The undersized European showed impressive skill and perseverance in his transition to the North American game and will be a large part of Badgers coach Tony Granato's system in 2017-18.
[tweet url="https://twitter.com/TriCityStorm/status/878719813270605824" hide_media="0" hide_thread="1"]
Four picks after Weissbach, the Flyers selected Kalynuk, a defenseman from Manitoba. Kalynuk has played the past three seasons in the USHL, posting new highs in goals, assists and points each season. In his first 114 games, split between the Lincoln Stars and Bloomington Thunder, he scored three goals and 39 points.
This past season, the agile defender tallied six goals and 31 points in 60 games. The Flyers have shown a knack for developing good defensemen in recent years and could have a good impression on Kalynuk during his development camp ahead of the NCAA season.

[tweet url="https://twitter.com/Wkalynuk17/status/878695724975828993" hide_media="0" hide_thread="1"]
Another defensemen, Ess is undersized for the trend of NHL blue lines at 5-foot-11. He's a puck-mover with poise and has impressive numbers with Lakeville South High during the past three years. In 111 USHS games between 2014 and 2017, Ess tallied 26 goals and 97 points. 
His game obviously impressed the Blackhawks brass, which has shown an eye for talent and selected him at No. 215, the third-to-last player chosen in the 2017 draft. 

[tweet url="https://twitter.com/BadgerMHockey/status/878671571451248640" hide_media="0" hide_thread="1"] 
It's evident the Badgers want to get stronger on the blue line. It's the highest number of Wisconsin defensemen ever taken in the same draft year, suggesting the Badgers have a strong team on the horizon once the freshmen adapt to the collegiate game.
Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @JMessing23.

3 Questionable Omissions From The NCAA 2018 Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament

University of Minnesota Athletics Minnesota 2018.jpg

 By Jacob Messing

With conference tournaments wrapped up and select teams taking home various hardware, the time has come for college hockey to buckle down for the biggest trophy of them all: the national championship.

Title Contenders Notre Dame, Ohio State Clash For Big Ten Tournament Crown

Ohio State Athletics 2018 Ohio State Hockey.jpg

By Jacob Messing

The Big Ten championship game is finally here, and it’s got everything a championship deserves: a newcomer, two national title contenders, and some of the best players in college hockey.

No. 16 Northern Michigan Carried By Top Talent At Every Position

Northern Michigan Athletics 2018 Northern Michigan.jpg

By Jacob Messing

The Northern Michigan Wildcats enter the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) finals this weekend with a couple of conference award winners and a scorching top line.

Trent Frederic Leaves Wisconsin For Boston Bruins

© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_9355120_168383134_lowres.jpg

Per Wisconsin Athletics release

Wisconsin sophomore forward Trent Frederic will forego his final two years of eligibility and has signed a professional contract with the Boston Bruins, the organization announced.

Denver Pioneers’ Dried-Up Offense Threatening National Tournament Repeat

© Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four-Denver vs Minnesota-Duluth

By Jacob Messing

There was no early-season hangover for the Denver Pioneers after claiming the 2017 NCAA national title, but a shaky end to the regular season has put their hopes of a consecutive championship in jeopardy.

Big Ten Men's Hockey Tournament Brings Renewed Rivalry, Title Threat Irish

Michigan Athletics Michigan Hockey 2018.jpg

By Jacob Messing

The newly formatted Big Ten Tournament saw three weekend sweeps in each of its best-of-three series while top-seeded Notre Dame earned a bye through the first round.

Michigan, Ohio State Will Add Chapter To Rivalry In B1G Semifinals


Third-seeded Michigan punched its ticket to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a 7-4 victory over the No. 6 seed Wisconsin on Saturday — pushing its active unbeaten streak to eight games.

'We Really Could Do This': The Return Of Michigan Wolverines Hockey

Michigan Athletics Michigan.jpg

By Jacob Messing

Preview & Predictions For Big Ten Hockey Tournament Opening Weekend

Ohio State Athletics OSU 2018.jpg

By Jacob Messing

Ohio State Blanks Wisconsin On Senior Night In Columbus

Twitter | @OhioState_MHKY Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 10.42.02 PM.png

No. 6 Ohio State dominated Wisconsin 4-0 in both teams' regular season finale on Saturday night.