Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sources: Goloubef, Smith Leaving Early; UPDATE **Goloubef Confirms He's Signing**

*****THURSDAY UPDATE-Just spoke to Cody Goloubef and he has confirmed to me that he is indeed leaving.

In what should come as a shock to no one around these parts, sources have confirmed to me that junior defensemen Cody Goloubef and Brendan Smith will forgo their final season of eligibility at the University of Wisconsin and turn pro.

Goloubef, a native of Oakville, Ontario has been a solid defenseman since he stepped on campus as a 17 year old freshman three years ago. The 2008 second round draft selection of the Columbus Blue Jackets (37th overall) was as calm and collected on the ice as they come.

Overshadowed for much of his time with Wisconsin, Goloubef was selected for the 2009 Canada World Junior team which went on to win the gold medal in Ottawa. Goloubef amassed 37 points in 118 career games during his three seasons in Madison. Known more for his ability to keep the puck out of the net than put it in, Goloubef will surely be missed.

Smith, a native of Mimico, Ontario has turned himself into an elite offensive defenseman. The 2007 first round selection of the Detroit Red Wings (27th overall) came to Madison as a bit of a liability and left school as the WCHA defenseman of the year.

The accolades poured in for Smith this season as he burst onto the map by putting up 52 points in 42 games for the Badgers. Smith was especially lethal on the power play netting 11 tallies on the man advantage, second only to Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion. Speaking of the Hobey Baker, Smith was announced as a top 10 finalist for the award after his fine season. He was also named First Team All-WCHA and was a First Team All-American.

Both players will be surely missed by the Wisconsin hockey program. Both players have made big improvements since coming to Wisconsin, and both will some day play in the NHL, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Photo Credit: RedHeat15