Wittchow Talks Madison Commitment

Photo courtesy of Britta Lewis

Since Badger defensive coach Bill Butters has come to the University of Wisconsin, it's been clear where his focus is. In just under two years, Butters has been able to recruit four elite blue-liners from the land of 10,000 lakes including the most recent one, Eddie Wittchow from Burnsville.

Others include Joe Faust (4th round pick of the N.J. Devils), Patrick Daly (7th round pick of the N.J. Devils), and Kevin Schulze from Hill Murray.

Wittchow, a 6'4, 200 pound blue-liner who currently plays for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the United States Hockey League committed to the Badgers on Thursday morning. Wittchow chose the Badgers over a number of division one programs.

Wittchow, who was selected fourth overall in the USHL draft by Waterloo, has also already been selected by an NHL club. This past summer, Wittchow was taken by the Florida Panthers in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in the sixth round, #154 overall.

Bucky's 5th Quarter was able to talk with Wittchow about his commitment to the Badgers on Thursday night. Here's what he had to say:

B5Q: You were drafted by the Florida Panthers this summer. Can you talk a little bit about the experience of going through the draft, and being selected in the NHL draft that was held in your home state?

Wittchow: I was honored to be drafted over the summer! Going into my senior season of hockey at Burnsville I can honestly say I was unsure of where my hockey career was going, but as the interest picked up, I started to more and more from every level of hockey. It all caught me a little bit off guard, but its what every hockey player dreams of. It was a very pleasent perk that the draft was to be held in St. Paul. This was I was able to attend the draft with numerous family members. It is an experience of a lifetime!

B5Q: Eddie, you’ve made your commitment to the University of Wisconsin. Can you tell us a little bit about why you went with the Badgers?

Wittchow: Growing in a family where both my parents, grandparents, and numerous aunts and uncles attended Wisconsin, I had no choice but to be a Badger fan! However, I didnt want to let that get in the way of making the best decision for me; it is just ironic that it is where I ultimately decided to commit to. When I took my visit to Wisconsin I loved it! It felt like home to me, and with the great coaching and history of Badger hockey, I truely could not go wrong. I cannot say I got the same gut feeling on some of the other visits I took.

B5Q: What were the other schools you were considering?

Wittchow: I had talked to many other schools since the beginning of my junior hockey career, but I would say my decision came down to Wisconsin, Western Michigan, and Ohio St.

B5Q: You had an opportunity to come in for this current season at Wisconsin but chose to wait a year. That’s not a decision most kids in your shoes is mature enough to make. Can you give us a better idea why you decided to play in the USHL this year?

Wittchow: Ultimately I decided last spring to play a year of junior hockey because I didnt believe I was physically or mentally suited for the jump from high school to college hockey. I still stand strong on what I said last spring, and I believe that my time so far this season has helped me grow as a person and a hockey player. I believe it will make me a better player in the long run.

B5Q: P.K. O’Handley your coach at Waterloo has a reputation for being a pretty demanding coach. How have you gotten along with P.K., and how is your season going with the Blackhawks?

Wittchow: My time here in Waterloo has been a great experience! The coaching staff is unbelievably intelligent and through about 20 games of junior career I have learned so many things to make me a better player and a better person. Our coaching staff here is very caring of their players, and while they are demanding at times, they only want the best for us.

B5Q: Some of the scouts have described you as a really good skater with a bit of a mean streak. Do you think that’s fair, or how would you describe your game?

Wittchow: I would say that is a pretty good description of my game, but I am still doing my best to improve on all aspects to the game of hockey to make me the best player I can be.

Wisconsin Committed Recruits
Player
Team
Position
Arrival
Size
DOB
Games
Goals
Assists
Points
Tim Davison
Notre Dame Academy
D
2013
5'10, 165
3-2-1994
5
1
6
7

Team Wisconsin




21
1
11
12
Nicolas Kerdiles
USA NTDP U18
F
2012
6'1, 194
1-11-1994
23
10
5
15
Jake Linhart
Chicago Mission U16
D
2014
5'10, 160
1-17-1996
-
-
-
-
Corbin McGuire
Springfield (EJHL)
F
2013
5'8, 185
3-2-1994
11
4
2
6

Jersey (EJHL)




12
0
6
6
Kevin Schulze
Muskegon (USHL)
D
2012
5'9, 155
4-29-1993
8
0
6
6

Omaha (USHL)




14
0
6
6
Eddie Wittchow
Waterloo (USHL)
D
2012
6'4, 200
10-31-1992
19
1
5
6
Morgan Zulinick
Salmon Arm (BCHL)
C
2012
5'11, 185
6-29-1994
25
10
20
30
Wisconsin Committed Recruits (Goalies)
Player
Team
Position
Arrival
Size
DOB
Record
GAA
Save %
SO
Gabe Grunwald
Michigan (NAHL)
G
2013
6'3, 190
3-15-1993
0-3
3.93
.886
0


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Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at chuckschwartz@live.com

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