Monday, June 23, 2008

Hockey: Feeling a draft

What a draft for the Wisconsin hockey program. A total of seven Badgers or soon-to-be Badgers were selected in the NHL draft, including five of the first 51 picks.

They were: Jake Gardiner, Cody Golobef, Patrick Wiercioch, Justin Schultz, Derek Stepan, Patrick Johnson, and Nick Pryor. Gardiner, and incoming freshman defenseman, was the top pick of the group, going 17th overall to Anaheim.

In his State Journal blog Andy Baggot compares this draft haul to other collegiate classes. Pretty impressive.

The question is: will this lead to conference titles and postseason success? Last year's team featured a bunch of high draft picks and, while it finished one goal short of the Frozen Four, it finished with a losing record.

Kudos to Baggot and Todd Milewski for great work previewing this draft, reporting on it, and providing perspective.