Frankie Simonelli hopes to join a long list of Wisconsin defensemen to play in the National Hockey League. Simonelli took another step towards that dream this week when he signed with the Boston Bruins organization.
Simonelli will spend the rest of the season with Boston's top farm club in Providence. Simonelli's contract with the Bruins runs through the end of next season.
Simonelli, the Badgers' team captain in 2013-14 and an assistant captain in 2012-13, finished his career with 16 goals, 45 assists and 63 points in 155 games. The 5-11 and 200-pound blue liner played in 151 consecutive game to close out his career, missing just two games while at Wisconsin. He also finished with 128 penalty minutes.
A 2014 second-team All-Big Ten selection, Simonelli tied for the league lead among defensemen with 15 points on four goals and 11 helpers in conference action. He was also named to the 2014 Big Ten Tournament All-Tournament Team in helping the Badgers to their second consecutive conference playoff title.
A right-handed shot, Simonelli posted a career-high six goals and equaled his career high with 19 points in 37 games played as a senior. He also scored a game-winning goal, while chipping in three power-play tallies, and tying for second on the team with 38 penalty minutes. His 65 blocked shots ranked second on the squad.
"Frankie is one of those players who good hockey people will appreciate what he brings to the table," said Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves. "He does a lot of little things well as a defenseman. He and Jake McCabe led our team in the hard stats - hits, blocked shots, shots on net - and he knows how to play well without the puck. As a defenseman, that will be vital for him. He gives himself a good chance to show what he can do at the next level by having those things in his corner."