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Christian Dvorak gives up eligibility to sign with OHL's London Knights

Dvorak backed out on Wisconsin to sign with the London Knights, escalating serious concerns about future Wisconsin recruiting classes.

Wisconsin hockey recruit Christian Dvorak will forfeit his collegiate eligibility to sign with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, multiple sources confirmed to Bucky's 5th Quarter Saturday.

A native of Frankfort, Ill., Dvorak committed to Wisconsin in August 2012 after visiting Michigan State, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, New Hampshire, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Dvorak eventually narrowed his list to four schools before choosing the Badgers over Nebraska-Omaha, New Hampshire and Notre Dame.

Dvorak spent last season playing for the Chicago Mission U-18 team, where he registered 35 goals and 92 points to go along with a +63 plus/minus in 52 games. Dvorak also chipped in two goals and five points in nine USHL games for the Chicago Steel, who drafted him in the first round of the Futures Draft in 2012.

The Wisconsin State Journal's Andy Baggot spoke with Dvorak's father, who felt signing with London improved his son's chances of reaching the NHL.

"I can't tell you how difficult a decision it was,'' Ed Dvorak told the State Journal. "It was very gut wrenching. It's disappointing for (Eaves and his staff). I get that.

"But as parents we all try to do what's best for our kids. It's a dream of my son's to play in the NHL.''

London held Dvorak's rights after selecting him in the eighth round of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection. The Knights are hosting the CHL's Memorial Cup this year, which no doubt was another major selling point for the family.

Dvorak becomes the second Wisconsin recruit to ditch the Badgers for London before ever stepping foot on campus. Sam Gagner backed out of his verbal commitment to sign with the Knights in 2006, and he now plays with former Badger Justin Schultz for the Edmonton Oilers.

The loss of Dvorak compounds a serious issue for the Badgers in the 2014 recruiting class. Dvorak was one of just two committed forwards -- Ryan Wagner being the other -- eligible to come to campus in the fall of 2014. That's a serious issue, considering the Badgers will need to replace six senior forwards and run the additional risk of losing underclassmen Nic Kerdiles and Joseph LaBate to the NHL.

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