May 15, 2010

Wisconsin's Class of 2010 Comes in Ranked 9th

Coming off of a national championship appearance, the Wisconsin Badgers have put together another great recruiting class. This class will need to replace some extremely talented players, and time will only tell if they have the same success. Lead by some of the top players in the 2010 class, this group will provide some great depth, offensive skill, size, and experience. Here is a quick look at the incoming group:

(Players listed in alphabetical order)

Tyler Barnes
Position: Forward
Hometown: Eagan, Minnesota
2009-2010 Team: Waterloo (USHL)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
Birthday: 2-13-1990 (20 years old)

Games: 60
Goals: 35
Assists: 33
Points: 68

Tyler Barnes joins Wisconsin after a very successful season for Waterloo. He lead the Black Hawks in scoring this season. Tyler should be able to provide some depth for Wisconsin up front, and the extra year in juniors should provide some helpful experience up front for the Badgers.

Jason Clark
Position: Forward
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN
2009-2010 Team: Shattuck St. Mary's
Height: 6-2
Weight: 180
Birthday: 2-28-1992 (18 years old)

Games: 54
Goals: 23
Assists: 23
Points: 46

Jason Clark comes in as a product of the strong Shattuck St. Mary's program. He brings good size with a strong offensive game. His game will be as a strong power forward for Coach Eaves.

Jefferson Dahl
Position: Forward
Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
2009-2010 Team: Youngstown (USHL)
Height: 5-9
Weight: 175
Birthday: 9-13-1989 (20 years old)

Games: 56
Goals: 16
Assists: 24
Points: 40

Jefferson Dahl comes in as the "smallest" player of the Badgers' 2010 class, but don't let that fool you, as he brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and solid two way play to Madison.

Chase Drake
Position: Defense (Sioux City, USHL)
Hometown: Mosinee, Wisconsin
2009-2010 Team: Sioux City (USHL)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 162
Birthday: 12-21-1989 (20 years old)

Games: 44
Goals: 1
Assists: 1
Points: 2

Chase may not have the flashy offensive numbers, but he figures to fit in nicely to a sound defensive system Coach Eaves likes to coach.

Sean Little
Position: Forward
Hometown: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
2009-2010 Team: Green Bay (USHL)
Height: 5-11
Birthday: 4-15-1991 (19 years old)

Games: 54
Goals: 4
Assists: 7
Points: 11

Wisconsin stays in the family with this incoming freshman. Sean Little is the younger brother of current Badger defenseman Ryan Little. Sean has the capabilities of being a solid two way defenseman, and he knows how to use his size well on the ice.

Michael Mersch ('s #40 ranked player) Position: Forward
Hometown: Park Ridge, Illinois
2009-2010 Team: USNDPT U-18 (USHL)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 200
Birthday:10-2-1992 (18 years old)

Games: 26 (USHL games)
Goals: 4
Assists: 4
Points: 8

A top 50 player in the Class of 2010, Michael Mersch is a strong forward that will provide some more size in front of the net for Coach Eaves and the Badgers. He shared the U-17 team lead with 27 goals in 65 games.

Frank Simonelli
Position: Defense
Hometown: Bensenville, IL
2009-2010 Teams: USNDPT U-18 (USHL)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 187
Birthday: 10-29-1992 (18 years old)

Games: 27 (USHL games)
Goals: 1
Assists: 5
Points: 6

A strong two way defenseman hopes to make a big impact for the Badgers. He should help filling a big role should a certain defenseman decide to leave for the professional ranks.

Mark Zengerle ( #6 ranked player) (Salmon Arm, BCHL)
Position: Forward
Hometown: Rochester, NY
2009-2010 Team: Salmon Arm (BCHL)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 178
Birthday: 5-12-1989 (21 years old)

Games: 60
Goals: 33
Assists: 87
Points: 120

Mark Zengerle ended up as one of the top ranked prospects in the Class of 2010. He should come in and contribute immediately for Wisconsin, as he averaged two points a game this past season. Throw in the age experience on the ice, and Zengerle looks to be the complete package with a very bright future.

A Look Forward:

The Wisconsin Badgers are coming off a season in which they fell just shy of a national championship. They will need to replace a wealth of talent as seniors Michael Davies, Aaron Bendickson, and Andy Bohmback have graduated along with Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion. If that wasn't enough, Cody Goloubef signed with Columbus, and it is believed that defenseman Brendan Smith will sign with Detroit.

So this group of freshman will have some big shoes to fill, but don't expect Wisconsin to take a big step backwards as this class certainly has all the tools to make an impact this year. If they continue to get a strong performance in goal, a return trip to the Frozen Four certainly isn't out of the question.

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