Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Murray Mulling a Senior Return and other news

Andy Baggot informs us today that Jordy Murray is currently weighing his options on returning for his senior season w/ the Badgers. Murray has the unique opportunity due to his status as a registered hockey player in Switzerland from when his father Andy was a coach there that he would not be considered an import player. Swiss teams are only allowed 4 imports. His brother Brady, a former Sioux player, currently plays in Switzerland as a non-import. Switzerland does not have any  taxes (damn that must be nice), and teams pay well.  As Baggot points out, likely more than anything Murray would get after his senior year from a NHL team.

60 had talked w/ both Murray’s (father and son) toward the end of the season, and Murray was then planning on returning to UW to finish his playing career and degree. The potential change in plans arose from the Swiss League considering changing their import rules this summer. A rule change could take away Murray’s ability to be considered a non-import player a year from now.

This is a tough spot for young Jordy Murray. I would certainly love to see him back in the Cardinal and White next season, but wish him well if he takes this lucrative deal if the import rules are going to change, taking away this option a year from now. Should Jordy return for his senior season, and Craig Smith and Justin Schultz stay on course for returning, UW would return their top three scorers.

Baggot also thinks should Murray leave early, the logical decision would be to bring in Brad Navin.  I'm not sure I agree w/ this, true he is the only forward currently committed who COULD come in next season.  Worry about this if Murray does leave.

In other news, Baggot reported yesterday that Burnsville (MN) senior defenseman Eddie Wittchow will visit UW in May (along w/ visits to minnesota and CC). Wittchow has good size, 6’3”, 185 lbs, and has vaulted up the scouting boards going from unranked in the mid-term NHL central scouting to #111 in the recent final rankings for the 2011 draft. RedLine Report has him at #72. Wittchow parents are both UW grads and he has been cheering for the Badgers his whole life. This is of course good news, but no guarantee. Wittchow mentions he would like to play NCAA hockey next season, but is open to a year of juniors. UW is currently full on the blue line w/ senior Eric Springer, juniors Justin Schultz and John Ramage, sophomores Frankie Simonelli and Joe Faust, redshirt freshman Chase Drake and incoming freshman Jake McCabe and Patrick Daly. We’ll have to see what happens, but this young man recognizes that Eaves sends elite dmen on to the pros, something CC and minnesota can’t match in numbers that last 6 years.

I should also note, Chuck broke this news (w/ out naming Wittchow) on USCHO a few days back already, and I don’t want him to think I’m not giving him credit for his news breaking ability.

Baggot also points out the RLR rankings of current and future Badgers: Winger Michael Mersch, who just finished his freshman season, is 50th (second round); center Joe Labate, a freshman committed for 2011-12, is 64th (third round); and defenseman Frankie Simonelli, who just completed his freshman season, is 127th (fifth round). 

Lastly, Dplaya over at Hockey in Wisconsin, had a nice story about a few UW players helping out recently.  The Little brothers (is the pun intended?) along w/ Jefferson Dahl spent some time in Fond du Lac helping out at the Mite Cross-Ice Tournament taking young players through drills and signing a bunch of autographs.  Dahl also helped out w/ the CCM Minnesota NIT tryouts in Tomah.  Great work guys!  From mites to high schoolers, you are role models and apparently making a very positive impression.
pictures from collegehockeynews.com and mnhockeyhub.com