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Badgers in the NHL update

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Former Badger defenseman Jake Gardiner will make his NHL debut this week.
Former Badger defenseman Jake Gardiner will make his NHL debut this week.


The University of Wisconsin has become an NHL prospect factory of sorts over the past decade since Mike Eaves has taken over the program. Seemingly every year more and more Badgers are making their mark in the show. With the NHL set to drop the puck on opening night tomorrow we figured it would be a great time to give an update on the former Badgers who have made NHL rosters.

Last season, 20 former Badgers played games in the NHL and that number is expected to grow this season. Despite Brian Rafalski retiring, and Robbie Earl choosing to play overseas, after final roster cuts this afternoon, 17 Badgers are currently on NHL rosters. That number doesn't include Kyle Turris, who is still holding out in a contract dispute with the Phoenix Coyotes. Turris is expected to play at some point this season, and four to five others who are starting the year in the minor leagues will most likely be called up at some point.

The biggest news revolves around two players who played for the Badgers a season ago. Jake Gardiner (Toronto) and Craig Smith (Nashville), who both left school early to sign pro contracts have made their respective NHL teams out of training camp. Neither player was expected to have much of a chance to make the team but both played so well in camp, and in the exhibition games that they forced their way onto the roster.

Some other notable are players who have changed teams. Jake Dowell signed with the Dallas, Dany Heatley was traded to Minnesota, Brad Winchester signed with San Jose, and Brian Elliott signed with St. Louis.

Brian Fahey (Chicago), Steven Reinprecht (Florida), Brendan Smith (Detroit), and Cody Goloubef (Columbus) will all start the year in the minors but are hoping for callups. Matt Ford (Washington), Andrew Joudrey (Columbus), Joe Piskula (Calgary), and Ben Street (Pittsburgh) were also in NHL training camps.

The following is a list of Badgers currently in the NHL.

Badgers in the NHL Stats
Player
Team
Games
Goals
Assists
Points
Rene Bourque
Calgary Flames
0
0
0
0
Adam Burish
Dallas Stars
0
0
0
0
Jake Dowell
Dallas Stars
0
0
0
0
Davis Drewiske
L.A. Kings
0
0
0
0
Jake Gardiner
Toronto Maple Leafs
0
0
0
0
Blake Geoffrion
Nashville Predators
0
0
0
0
Tom Gilbert
Edmonton Oilers
0
0
0
0
Dany Heatley
Minnesota Wild
0
0
0
0
Jamie McBain
Carolina Hurricanes
0
0
0
0
Ryan McDonagh
New York Rangers
0
0
0
0
Joe Pavelski
San Jose Sharks
0
0
0
0
Jack Skille
Florida Panthers
0
0
0
0
Craig Smith
Nashville Predators
0
0
0
0
Derek Stepan
New York Rangers
0
0
0
0
Ryan Suter
Nashville Predators
0
0
0
0
Brad Winchester
San Jose Sharks
0
0
0
0

Badgers in the NHL Stats (Goalie)
Player
Team
Games
GAA
Save %
SO
Brian Elliott
St. Louis Blues
0
0
0
0

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