Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Night News and Notes

-Former Badger Brendan Smith (pictured), who is having an outstanding first season as a professional has been named to the AHL All-Rookie team. A former first round draft selection of the Detroit Red Wings, Smith has recorded 32 points in 57 games from the blueline for the Grand Rapids Griffins. With only four defensemen currently under contract for next season for Detroit, I would be surprised if Smith is not a regular in Mo-Town next fall.

-Two other members of last seasons Frozen Four Wisconsin squad were also recently honored. Andy Bohmbach of the Toledo Walleye and Ben Street from the Wheeling Nailers were both named to the ECHL All-Rookie team. Bohmbach leads all ECHL rookies in points with 68. Street is fifth amogst rookies with 51 points despite only playing 38 games. Street was called up to the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on February 3rd.

-Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves recently met with all the players on the roster for post season evaluations and sophomore's Justin Schultz and Craig Smith reiterated their plans to stay in Madison and play at least one more season for the Badgers. The biggest concern at this point right now is junior forward Jordy Murray who is still weighing his options of leaving to play pro hockey overseas next season.

-The New York Rangers blog "Blueshirt Banter" has a fantastic article up about former Wisconsin defenseman Ryan McDonagh who is making waves in the big apple. The article hits on what McDonagh brings to the team with his maturity, which is rare for a 21 year old playing in the NHL.

-Another link courtesy of the Wisconsin Men's Hockey facebook page...Andrew Joudrey, a member of the 2006 Wisconsin National Championship team has been named Hershey's "Man of the Year." Joudrey, a forward for the AHL's Hershey Bears is being honored for his outstanding work in the Hershey community this season. Read the article, they have some very, very kind words for Mr. Joudrey. Makes you proud that he was a Badger.

-Justin Schultz, who had been named a top 10 finalist for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award did not advance to the next round. The top 10 were narrowed to 3 as the Hobey Hat Trick was announced yesterday. North Dakota forward Matt Frattin, Miami Forward Andy Meile, and Boston College forward Cam Atkinson are your finalists.

-Denver University was the latest WCHA school to lose an underclassmen to the NHL this off-season. Sophomore defenseman Matt Donovan signed an entry level contract with the New York Islanders this week. The former 4th round NHL draft pick was a second team All-WCHA defenseman this season. Donovan is the fourth WCHA underclassmen to sign, he joins Wisconsin's Jake Gardiner, Minnesota's Aaron Ness, and St. Cloud's Oliver Lauridsen.

-Odds have been released for the 2011 Frozen Four. According to Bodog.com, North Dakota is the favorite to win the title at even money, Michigan is a +275, Minnesota-Duluth is a +375, and Notre Dame is +425.

-Yesterday when I was talking about the U18 World Championships I shared with you Chris Peters from the United States of Hockey blog's view on Nic Kerdiles. Today he profiled the defensmen including 2011 Wisconsin recruit Jake McCabe. It's a good read and an outstanding blog.

-Believe it or not, Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Shuchuk is now on twitter. Follow him @gshuchuk. Additionally, Craig Smith (@Csmith1515), Chase Drake (@1Cdrake5), Frankie Simonelli (@FSimonelli27), and Jefferson Dahl (@JDahl14) are now on twitter. 2011 goalie recruit Joel Rumpel (@Rumpz91), and 2012 forward recruit Morgan Zulinick (@mzuli15) are also now in the twit game.

Current players Eric Sprigner (@eSprings4), Mark Zengerle (@Zengerle9), and Justin Schultz (@6Schultz6), as well as former players Scott Gudmandson (@ScottGudmandson), John Mitchell (@JohnMitchell24), Sean Dolan (@SeanDolan16), Michael Davies (@MikeGDavies), Ryan Jeffery (@RyanCJeffery), Shane Connelly (@ShaneConnelly), Brett Bennett (@BjBennett88), Zach Bearson (@zbearson), Blake Geoffrion (@BlakeGeoffrion), Brad Winchester (@bradwinchester), Kyle Turris (@kyleturris), Joe Piskula (@skoolz43), Jake Gardiner (@jGardiner272), Cody Goloubef (@cgoloubef27), Brendan Smith (@bssmith7), and Sean Hill (@seanrhill) have been on twitter for a while.

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