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Michael Mersch inks 3-year NHL contract with Los Angeles Kings

Two Wisconsin senior forwards agreed to contracts on Tuesday, as Michael Mersch signed with the L.A. Kings and Tyler Barnes signed an ATO with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL.

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Wisconsin senior Michael Mersch has signed an entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings, the team announced on Tuesday.

Mersch was selected by the Kings in the 2011 NHL Draft, No. 110 overall. According to terms set by the NHL collective bargaining agreement, the 21-year-old winger will be signing a three-year deal with the Kings.

"Michael will bring his big body and his ability to use that to the professional level," said UW head coach Mike Eaves. "He is a big man. He scores goals in the hard areas using that big body, and he has been really diligent in becoming a better skater. He is a much better skater now than he was as a freshman and he'll have to continue to work on that because he is going to the next level. He has a work ethic and the character to get that done."

A native of Park Ridge, Ill., Mersch turned down an opportunity last summer to sign with L.A. to come back to Madison for one more season. Mersch registered 22 goals, 35 points and 18 penalty minutes in 37 games as a senior and helped lead the Badgers to the first-ever Big Ten tournament title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Mersch was named first-team All-Big Ten after finishing tied for first in goals, tied for fifth in points and first in power-play goals (10).

It's expected that Mersch will report to L.A.'s AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs to finish the season.

Tyler Barnes signs with San Antonio Rampage (AHL)

Mersch wasn't the only Wisconsin senior to sign on Tuesday, as classmate Tyler Barnes also agreed to terms on a contract. Barnes has signed an amateur tryout offer with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. The Rampage are the top minor-league affiliate of the Florida Panthers.

Barnes finished his senior season with the Badgers registering 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points in 33 games. Barnes finished his Wisconsin career as a part of the prestigious "100 club" as he reached the hundred-point mark during the Big Ten championship game.

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