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.
 
Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @JMessing23.

North Korea, South Korea Form Single Olympic Women's Hockey Team

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Ahead of next month's Winter Games in Pyeongchang, rivals North and South Korea will form a joint Olympic team marching under a single "unification flag," according to the Associated Press. 

Syracuse Hoping To Use CHA Rival Penn State As Second-Half Spark

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Stuck in the middle of the College Hockey America (CHA) standings, the Syracuse Orange are hoping their second series with the Penn State Nittany Lions sparks a turnaround from their current rough patch. This time they travel to University Park, Pennsylvania.

Sweet Six: No. 1 Badgers Blank Mavericks 6-0

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MADISON, Wis. — Thanks to the efforts of a balanced Badger offense, the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team opened the new year with a 6-0 victory over Minnesota State Saturday afternoon at LaBahn Arena.

Wisconsin Badgers Drop Defensive Battle To Michigan State

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Press release provided by University of Wisconsin athletics:

No. 6/7 Buckeyes Fall to No. 13 Nittany Lions, 5-2

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Press release provided by Ohio State University athletics:

Wisconsin's Kristen Campbell Named WCHA Goaltender Of The Month

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Press release provided by University of Wisconsin Athletics:

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin women’s hockey goaltender Kristen Campbell has been named the WCHA Goaltender of the Month for the third-consecutive month, the league announced Wednesday.

'Miracle On Ice' Reunion For Wisconsin, Minnesota State Coaches

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You could say that Mark Johnson, head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers, and John Harrington, skipper of the Minnesota State Mavericks, know each other pretty well — and their past is definitely apropos: the two were teammates on the Miracle on Ice team which shocked the world and won gold in the 1980 Olympics.

Arizona State, MVP Brinson Pasichnuk Claim Ice Vegas Title

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The Arizona State Sun Devils jumped out to an early lead against the Michigan Tech Huskies on their way to claiming the inaugural Ice Vegas Invitational championship.

NMU Hands No. 13 Boston College Second Straight Loss

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The Northern Michigan Wildcats defeated the Boston College Eagles 4-3 in a shootout Saturday to claim third place at the inaugural Ice Vegas Invitational.

Philip Beaulieu recorded a goal and two assists, powering the Wildcats over the Eagles, who will likely find themselves dropping form their current No. 13 rank after an 0-2 showing in Las Vegas.

Arizona State's 7-Goal Barrage Downs Northern Michigan

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A few hours after Michigan Tech used a three-goal first period to best Boston College, the Arizona State Sun Devils did the same against Northern Michigan.

But those three points would turn out to be just a fraction of their point total from the first day of the inaugural Ice Vegas Invitational, where physicality and speed led the way.

The Sun Devils played in front of what was virtually a home crowd as they downed the Wildcats, 7-3, on Friday night.