4 NHL Draft Picks Highlight Badgers' Strong Incoming Freshman Class

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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.

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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.
 
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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.

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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. 

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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.
 
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Wisconsin Men's Hockey Skates To 7-3 Win Over Michigan

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MADISON, Wis. – Freshman defenseman Josh Ess scored 33 seconds into the game, and Wisconsin (8-5-1, 3-2-0 Big Ten) never looked back in its 7-3 victory over Michigan (6-4-1, 2-2-1 Big Ten) on Friday at the Kohl Center.

Michigan State’s Mitchell Lewandowski Thriving In Freshman Year

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By Jacob Messing

When Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos announced his recruiting class last November, he wasn’t aware he’d never coach it.

Anastos stepped down after his sixth season, believing his five-year plan from 2011 wasn’t seeing progress. One of the consequences was not getting to see how his final recruiting class panned out, including current leading scorer Mitchell Lewandowski.

No. 7 Minnesota Hoping To Roll Past Lowly St. Cloud State

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By Jacob Messing

When the 2-10-0 St. Cloud State Huskies visit Minneapolis this weekend, they’ll be crashing head-first into a veritable steam engine train. The Minnesota Golden Gophers are not only ranked in the top 10, posting a 9-4-1 record over the year, but the hosts are also riding on the fuel of two consecutive series sweeps.

FloHockey will stream the battle live when the puck drops for the first game, Friday at 7 PM EST, and the second game, Saturday at 5 PM.

Wisconsin Men’s Hockey Inks 8 In Early Signing Period

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Press release via Wisconsin Athletics.

MADISON, Wisconsin – Head coach Tony Granato and his Wisconsin men's hockey coaching staff announced Thursday the signing of eight individuals to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.

No. 17 Michigan Gaining Momentum Ahead Of Trip To No. 9 Wisconsin

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By Jacob Messing

The battle of the Great Lakes between newly ranked Michigan and top-10 Wisconsin could be over in the first 20 minutes — and not because of a blowout.

Drop The Hammer: Legal And Not-So-Legal NHL Hits

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By Jacob Messing

Last week, FloHockey brought you a collaboration of some of the biggest hits from the past couple weeks.

High And Wide: Rangers, Rivals, and Roughed-Up Ducks

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By Jacob Messing

The Red Wings lost their first shootout in 14 games, the New Jersey Devils continue to win, and Auston Matthews has missed three straight games.

The New York Rangers began the season 1-6-1, an excruciatingly slow start as goaltender Henrik Lundqvist struggled to make up for his team’s defensive lapses and lack of scoring.

Michigan State Splits With No. 7 Wisconsin In Big Ten Men’s Hockey

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By Jacob Messing

It was the worst of games, it was the best of games.

Michigan State’s series with Wisconsin was a tale of two days for the Spartans, who on Friday lost a wild 6-3 shootout to the Badgers only to turn around and smash a 2-0 shutout of their opponents at home in East Lansing, Michigan.

Badgers Suffer Setback Against Spartans, Fall 2-0 In Series Finale

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EAST LANSING, Mich.— The No. 7/10 Wisconsin men’s hockey team will head back to Madison with a series split, falling to Michigan State, 2-0, in the weekend finale on Saturday night.

Wisconsin Scores Season-High Six Goals Against Michigan State

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