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 UWBadgers.com 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:
@SkatingSaints @BadgerMHockey pic.twitter.com/bCZd7aOFzU— Kyle Hayton (@khayton27) September 1, 2017
According to Baggot, Hayton will wear No. 33 for the Badgers.
Follow Jon on Twitter at @jbei013