If you haven't already read about the unique story of how Baylee Wellhausen came to have Hall of Famer Cammi Granato for an aunt, take the time to do so. But don't let the hockey legacy of either Cammi or the four Wisconsin alumni Granato brothers distract you from the diminutive but not easy to ignore Wellhausen.
Wellhausen comes to Madison with a significant resume already in tact. She was named American Family Insurance All-USA Player of the Year after scoring 43 goals and assisting on another 36 for a total of 79 points her senior year at Shattuck St. Mary's. She was on the inaugural All-USA High School Girls Ice Hockey Team by USA Today. She's been part of Team USA National Camps for the past four years. She recently represented the U.S. at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championships and was named the U.S. Player of the Game vs. Russia and was also on the U-18 team for the 2013 Worlds.
Despite it being about seven minutes before she's meant to be in pads and on the ice for practice, Wellhausen is full of energy and excitement. She may have said more in three minutes than her teammates said in more than twice as long. She gives off a vibe of bundled energy just waiting for a chance to be unleashed.
What kind of player are you?
I rely a lot on my work ethic as a player. A lot of people tell me that's one of my biggest features. My skating is definitely my strong suit. I think I'm a hard worker. I have speed and I see the ice really well so I'm able to make plays.
On being part of this well-known, highly touted recruiting class:
Of course that's going to come with pressure and there's expectations now, as a class. But it's almost like a good pressure. It's exciting to come in and have people expect that much of you because it makes you want to work that much harder to meet those expectations and exceed them. It's a positive light on it.
On her goals for the season:
A goal for myself is just play and be the best player I can be and just continually improve and just kind of make my mark and show who I am - show Wisconsin hockey who I am. Meet those expectations. Ultimately make it to the NCAA Finals, come together as a team and perform.
On if she feels the need to break out of being defined by the Granato family name:
I never really had too much of that. I've definitely maintained being my own person and I think the name is just a blessing to have behind me. I don't really get tired of it. There's not really a burden to me. It's just kind of like this cool secret I have that everyone found out.
Scout Emily Clarke for us:
Oh gosh, Clarky - I had never seen. Actually, I did, I played against Clarky at Worlds but I didn't know it was her at the time. I didn't know her very well, you know? I think she's an incredibly fast player. Fastest player I've ever seen skate. Awesome shot. She's so talented. It's almost indescribable, you just have to watch her play.
Here's the intro video she did for UWBadgers.com: