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Goaltender Kyle Hayton joins Wisconsin hockey as graduate transfer

2016-17 ECAC Goaltender of the Year joins Badgers

NCAA Men's Frozen Four Final Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Kyle Hayton, the 2016-17 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association (ECAC) Goaltender of the Year, has joined the Wisconsin men’s hockey program as a graduate transfer.

Hayton, 23, played in 35 games with St. Lawrence last season, posting a 16-12-7 record with the Saints. He registered a .929 save percentage and a 2.28 goals against average on way to being named a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award as the NCAA’s most outstanding goaltender.

Hayton, a second-team All-American, spoke with Andy Baggot, cited Tony Granato and the Wisconsin coaching staff as a primary driver selecting Wisconsin as the destination for his final collegiate season.

"Obviously the coaching staff was a huge draw," he said, referring to Granato and associate head coaches Mark Osiecki and Mark Strobel. "I've never met any coaches like these guys. It's going to be a great year.

Baggot’s article also describes at length the strides Hayton had to take academically to become a graduate transfer.

Goaltending was an area of need for Wisconsin in 2017-18. Junior-to-be Matt Jurusik departed the program for the USHL last week. Sophomore Jack Berry was successful in limited starts in 2016-17 while fellow sophomore Johan Blomquist saw limited playing time as a true freshman.

Here’s Hayton’s official announcement via Twitter:

According to Baggot, Hayton will wear No. 33 for the Badgers.

Follow Jon on Twitter at @jbei013