Head Coach Mike Eaves and the University of Wisconsin has announced the signing of five players during the early signing period. Eaves has signed a goalie, Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan), and four forwards, Tyler Lapic (New Prague, MN), Cody Strang (Madison, WI), Brendan Woods (Palmyra, Pa.), and Matt Paape (Appleton, WI).
Defensemen Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, WI), and Troy Hesketh (Minnetonka, MN) are expected to sign letters of intent during the spring signing period.
Eaves comments from UWBadgers.com
Tyler Lapic (Chicago, USHL)
“Tyler is a power forward, big lad, who brings a nice skill set to the rink. We expect him, hopefully right away, to be a contributor.”
Matt Paape (Sioux City, USHL)
“Matt is a Wisconsin born and bred young man who brings a nice skill set to the game. He has a knack for being around the puck, and the puck finds him. We expect him to bring some offense to our team."
Cody Strang (Youngstown, USHL)
“Cody’s a local boy. He was the leading point getter in his senior year at Edgewood. He’s really a crafty player with the puck and for not being a very big lad, he has the heart of a wrestler. He knows how to spin away, he’s not afraid to go to the hard areas and he’s a good teammate. We expect good things from him offensively.”
Brendan Woods (Muskegon, USHL)
“He’s from a hockey family. His dad [Bob] played in the NHL and now coaches with the Washington Capitals. He can be a power forward for us. He plays at top tempo and gives us good size. He will play hard.”
Joel Rumpel (Penticton, BCHL)
“He brings a nice pedigree related to the Badger family with his uncle, Roy Schultz, who was an All-American goaltender here back in the early 1980s. He’s a really good athlete. He’s a tremendous track and field athlete so he’s got natural physical abilities, and he’s putting those abilities to work in the game of hockey. He’s going to come in next year as a freshman and going to jump right into the pipes and play immediately for us.”
Andy Baggot spoke with Eaves about the recruits and noted that Rumpel is expected to start in goal from day one next season with both of our scholarship goaltenders graduating after this season.
Eaves also noted that he does not plan to bring in another scholarship goalie in the 2011 class, instead he plans on promoting Mitch Thompson, the current walk on third stringer next season. He noted they will bring in another walk on to take Thompson's spot.
I couldn't be more frustrated by this news. While I feel that Rumpel is going to be a very good goaltender for the Badgers, why not take a shot on one of the two transfers that were available this season. Former UMD goalie Brady Hjelle and former Minnesota State goalie Kevin Murdock were both available and would have been perfect. (Assuming they didn't have WCHA transfer restrictions)
Hjelle has recently committed to Ohio State and Murdock, who has posted a 6-3 record with a 2.59 GAA and a .918 save percentage is still available.
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