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Wisconsin men’s hockey: captains selected for next season

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Last year’s captain, Wyatt Kalynuk, to turn pro with one year of eligibility remaining.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: NOV 24 Wisconsin at Michigan
New alternate captain, Tarek Baker
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team selected their captains for the upcoming 2020-21 season on Wednesday afternoon on Instagram Live.

The new man donning the “C” for the Badgers will be junior defenseman, and Eau Claire native, Ty Emberson. Senior forwards, and Madison natives, Tarek Baker and Ty Pelton-Byce as well as junior defenseman Tyler Inamoto, who is from Barrington, Ill., will serve as alternate captains.

Per the UW press release, Emberson, who became an alternative captain during the second half of last season, will lead the Badgers in the 58th season of the modern era.

He posted a goal and nine points in 33 games last season and five goals and 21 points in 70 games in his career on the Wisconsin blue line. He also skated last winter as one of the top performers with the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2020 World Junior Championships.

He was a 2018 third-round draft pick (78th overall) by the Arizona Coyotes.

2018 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Baker, who was also an alternate captain last season, has 21 goals and 51 career points through three seasons at UW. Inamoto has four goals and 18 points in 106 college games. He’s a 2017 fifth-round pick (133rd overall) by the Florida Panthers. In his first season as a Badger last year, Pelton-Byce recorded nine goals and 24 points in 32 games to rank among the squad’s top-five scorers.

Pelton-Byce, who transferred from Harvard, will join his father, John, as the first father-son duo to wear a letter on their jersey in Wisconsin hockey history.

With the naming of a new captain, there were questions about whether or not last season’s captain, defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk, would be back for his senior season or not. Per Todd Milewski of the State Journal, Kalynuk declined to comment but head coach Tony Granato said that he was going pro and forgoing his final season of eligibility.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: MAR 03 Wisconsin at Michigan Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“I’m all for doing what players think is right for them,” Granato said. “At this point, Wyatt thinks right now it’s better for him to turn pro, and I support that.”

Kalynuk was selected by the best team in the NHL (Editor’s note: needs citation), the Philadelphia Flyers, in the seventh round of the 2017 draft and will join the team after being named first team All-B1G this past year.

Center Alex Turcotte (Los Angeles Kings) and defenseman K’Andre Miller (New York Rangers) also left school early to follow their professional hockey dreams and former alternate captain Sean Dhooghe grad transferred to Arizona State for his final year of eligibility.

The Badgers, who finished in last place in the B1G, will be looking to rebound in 2020-21 and hopefully make a postseason run...although just finishing, uh, not last in the B1G would be a step in the right direction.