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Wisconsin hockey recruiting: Seamus Malone is on firrrrrreeeeeee

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The Badgers could use some additional offense, and recruit Seamus Malone, who has eight goals in his past 11 games, should help the cause.

Serena Dalhamer Photo

It's been a while since we've done a recruiting update, so we'll get right into it.

Player Photo

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Seamus Malone

Center

Left

5'9

165

Team

Hometown

DOB

Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

Naperville, Ill.

5/6/1996

We might as well start with the recruit tearing up the USHL. Seamus Malone, who has signed a letter of intent to join the Badgers next season, was recently named the USHL forward of the week. Malone has 11 points in his last six games, which includes eight goals. Malone racked up hat tricks in back-to-back games, and finished last Friday's game against Madison with five points. For the season, Malone has 24 goals and 55 points in 54 games and ranks 11th in the USHL in points.

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Kohen Olischefski

Center

Right

6'1

164

Team

Hometown

DOB

Yale Hockey Academy Prep

Abbotsford, B.C.

2/1/1998

Kohen Olischefski is one of the more under the radar recruits because of his location as a midget player in British Columbia, but don't let that confuse you, he's an elite talent. In 28 league games this year with Yale Hockey Academy, Olischefski recorded 29 goals and 71 points, averaging 2.5 points per game. Olischefski is teammates with potential recruits Tak Anholt and Jarret Tyszka, and is expected to play in the BCHL next season with the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Cruikshank_medium

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Grant Cruikshank

Forward

Left

5'9

175

Team

Hometown

DOB

Milwaukee Jr. Admirals U16

Delafield, Wis.

7/19/1998

The son of Olympic speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Dave Cruikshank, Grant was one of the top U16 hockey players in the country this season. Skating for the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals, Cruikshank won the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League scoring title with 51 points in 29 games, which included 31 goals. For the full season, the elite-skating Cruikshank finished with 84 points (50 goals) in 55 games for the Jr. Ads. Cruikshank will likely move up to the Jr. Admiral's U18 team next season and will play 1-2 seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms in the USHL after that.

Player Photo

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Peter Tischke

Defense

Left

6'1

213

Team

Hometown

DOB

Chicago Steel (USHL)

Hinsdale, Ill.

1/3/1996

Peter Tischke has been an all-around defensive player for the Chicago Steel this season, contributing in all areas of the game. While the thick-bodied, defensive-defenseman is a stalwart on the back-end, Tischke has been given additional responsibilities in his second USHL season, including power play time, and has recorded 19 points in 53 games in addition to playing a tough-brand of hockey in his own end. Tischke has signed a national letter of intent and will join the Badgers next season.

Frederic_trent_medium

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Trent Frederic

Center

Left

6'1

192

Team

Hometown

DOB

U.S. NTDP U-17

St. Louis, Mo.

2/11/1998

Trent Frederic has had a bit of a slow start to his first season with the National Team Development Program, but it's entirely too early to be concerned. The native of St. Louis has recorded five goals and 14 points in 51 games this season, which ranks 11th on the U17 team and eighth amongst forwards. Regardless of the results, however, the talent is there, and Frederic is one of the top 1998-born forwards in the United States. Frederic will bump up to the U18 team next season and join the Badgers in the fall of 2016.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/playergallery/248426/r_7_anthony_stillwell_2x.jpg

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Tony Stillwell

Defense

Left

5'8

167

Team

Hometown

DOB

Notre Dame Academy

Green Bay, Wis.

4/18/1997

Tony Stillwell, the defenseman from Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, was named the 2014-15 Wisconsin "Mr. Hockey" award winner for his senior season that included seven goals and 19 points in 17 games. After the high school season, Stillwell joined the Madison Capitols, who own his USHL rights, and the 1997-born defenseman has picked up four assists in 11 games. Scouts that have watched the Capitols since Stillwell joined the team have noted that the former NDA blueliner has been played in all situations, and has thrived in his limited time in the USHL. It's expected that Stillwell plays next season in Madison before joining the Badgers in 2016.

_10_mick_messner-2_medium

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Mick Messner

Left Wing

Left

5'11

185

Team

Hometown

DOB

Madison West high school

Madison, Wis.

4/20/1999

Mick Messner is an interesting case as he's one of the top 1999-born forwards in the United States but had a very mediocre high school season with Madison West. In 24 games, Messner registered 15 goals and 29 points, which is respectable, but for an elite talent committed to Wisconsin, not quite the totals that should be expected. Messner finished just fourth on his own high school team in scoring this year. Despite the totals, Messner was invited to the USA NTDP tryouts. It doesn't sound like he's been given an invitation to join the program at this point, but sources have indicated that multiple USHL teams have offered Messner a tender to play in the league next year.

http://cdn3.sportngin.com/attachments/photo/4510/8121/Adam_Parsells_small.jpg

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Adam Parsells

Defense

Left

6'5.5

192

Team

Current Team

DOB

Wasau West high school

Wausau, Wis.

1/3/1997

Adam Parsells is a polarizing player, as he's always going to have his lovers and haters given his size. Many people don't think he's worthy of his accolades, but that's simply not true. Parsells certainly has advantages that others don't because of his size and length, but he is also a player that has poise and skills that will translate to the next level. I won't argue that he needs to mature as a player, but Parsells has the potential to be a very solid collegiate defenseman down the road. It's expected that Parsells plays at least next season in Green Bay of the USHL, and maybe even two before coming to Wisconsin.

Wayzata6_medium

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Max Zimmer

Left Wing/Center

Left

5'10

165

Team

Hometown

DOB

Wayzata High School

Medina, Minn.

10/29/1997

Max Zimmer is the kind of electrifying offensive talent the Badgers have been lacking in recent years. An elite skater that can find soft spots in the defense, Zimmer's point totals this season don't match his ability. In 25 games, Zimmer registered nine goals and 31 points. Oddly enough, in the three games I watched Zimmer play in person this season, the Wayzata forward registered four goals (six points) and was clearly one of the top forwards in the state of Minnesota. It's expected that Zimmer spends his senior season in the USHL with the Chicago Steel, and will join the Badgers in either the fall of 2016 or 17.

Opilka_luke_medium

Name

Position

Catches

Height

Weight

Luke Opilka

Goaltender

Left

6'1

192

Team

Hometown

DOB

U.S. NTDP U18

St. Louis, Mo.

2/25/1997

Curious about the replacement for Joel Rumpel? Here he is. Luke Opilka is the guy who will be stepping in between the pipes for Wisconsin next season. Expected to be drafted in the top-four rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft, Opilka is one of, if not the No. 1 goalie recruit in the nation for next season. A native of St. Louis, Opilka's 24-6 record this season with the U.S. NTDP U18 team says a lot more than his save percentage of .888. The U.S. NTDP U18 team is currently preparing for the U18 World Championships, where Opilka is expected to be the top goaltender. Opilka will step into the UW lineup next season and become the immediate starter, and will be expected to carry the load from day one.

Kunin_luke_medium

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Luke Kunin

Center/Right Wing

Right

5'11

188

Team

Hometown

DOB

U.S. NTDP U18

Chesterfield, Mo.

12/4/1997

The Captain of the NTDP U18 team, Luke Kunin was expected to be one of the headliners of Wisconsin's 2015 recruiting class. And while that may come true some day, there are beliefs that may never come to fruition. Sources have indicated that Kunin doesn't currently poses an ACT score to gain admittance to the University. Given the fact Kunin is trying to accelerate his studies to join the Badgers for next fall, the ACT news isn't very encouraging at this moment. Nothing is set in stone in any direction right now, but this is a story to keep an eye on moving forward.

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Joey Abate

Left Wing

Left

6'2

175

Team

Hometown

DOB

Chicago Mission U16

Bloomingdale, Ill.

9/6/1998

Joey Abate chose the Badgers over Notre Dame and North Dakota, and spent this past season with the Chicago Mission U16 team in the High Performance Hockey League. In 26 league games, Abate registered nine goals and 16 points. Drafted by the Tri-City Storm in the USHL Draft, Abate was traded during the season the Bloomington Thunder, where the Bloomingdale, Ill. native played one game this season to get his feet wet.

Player Photo

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Matthew Freytag

Left Wing

Left

6'1

193

Team

Hometown

DOB

Tri-City Storm (USHL)

Wayzata, Minn.

2/17/1997

Matthew Freytag decided to forgo his senior season at Wayzata high school to play for Tri-City in the USHL. That move has proved to be successful so far, with Freytag notching 15 goals, which ranks fourth on his current team, and 30 points, in 49 games for the Storm this season. In a perfect world, Freytag would play at least one more season in the USHL, but it's expected that the Minnesota native will join the Badgers next fall.

 photo DominickMersch2.jpg

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Dominick Mersch

Left Wing

Left

6'0

180

Team

Hometown

DOB

Chicago Mission U16

Park Ridge, Ill.

12/16/1998

Dominick Mersch should be a name very familiar to Wisconsin fans, as he's the younger brother of former Badger, Michael. Dominick plays a significantly different style than Michael, as Dom is not quite the goal scorer that Michael is, but is more likely to jam in the corners for loose pucks. While he might not score like his brother, Dom still has the ability to put the puck in the back of the net. In 25 league games this season for the Chicago Mission, Mersch led his club in goals with 12. It's expected that Mersch spends the next two seasons in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars before joining the Badgers in the fall of 2017.

http://cdn87.psbin.com/img/mw=160/mh=210/cr=n/d=gumm6/sm6phhid08jw57qi.jpg

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Tyler Inamoto

Defense

Left

6'0

174

Team

Hometown

DOB

Shattuck-St. Mary's U16

Barrington, Ill

5/6/1999

Tyler Inamoto is one of the more recent commits to the Wisconsin program, and recently won a USA Hockey national championship with the Shattuck U16 program. Known as a two-way defenseman with a significant physical edge, Inamoto finished the 2014-15 season with 23 points in 49 games as a defenseman with a team-leading 69 penalty minutes. Like Messner, Inamoto recently participated in the NTDP tryouts. Unlike Messner, Inamoto was offered a spot on the team. Inamoto has 10 days to accept or decline the offer, but it would be a surprise if he turned it down.

Player Photo

Name

Position

Shoots

Height

Weight

Matt Berkovitz

Defense

Left

6'1

181

Team

Hometown

DOB

Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)

Green Bay, Wis.

2/16/1996

Matt Berkovitz is one of the more puzzling recruits in the Wisconsin stable at this point. The Green Bay native was a fifth-round NHL Draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2014 NHL Draft, but has struggled in his first full season in the USHL. The Chicago Steel owned his USHL rights but gave him away to the Sioux City Musketeers before the season started. While with the Muskies, Berkovitz picked up mono, and struggled through first-half of the season. Sioux City later traded Berkovitz away to Green Bay, and the local product has picked up just two assists in 19 games for his hometown club. Berkovitz has signed a letter of intent to join the Badgers next season, but at this point, it would make more sense to let Berkovitz play another year in the USHL.

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