No. 38 — Joe Pavelski, Men’s Hockey
We’ve talked a lot of individual winners and other conference champions, but up until this point there has been one thing missing from every player on this list — a national champion. No worries any longer, as our No. 38 player, Joe Pavelski, was part of the last national championship team for Badgers men’s hockey.
He hoisted the championship trophy after the 2005-06 season and then skated off to the NHL. Rightfully so after a career that was one of the best in Badger history.
Pavelski ended his career as a member of the 100-point club, netting 101 points in just two seasons as a Badger. He put in 39 goals and 62 assists in just 84 games during his career at UW. Doing that in just two seasons at UW has only been accomplished nine times, just to put it in perspective.
Pavelski also happens to be one of the most clutch players in the history of UW hockey, scoring six game winning goals in the 2005-06 season alone. That’s a mark tied for ninth for a single season at Wisconsin.
That season, Pavelski was named second-team All-American and was also a second-team All-WCHA selection.
Just how clutch was he that final season? In the 2006 NCAA Frozen Four championship game, Pavelski showed up in a major way — assisting on both of the Wisconsin goals in the 2-1 win over Boston College.
It was part of an insane run for Pavelski late in his second season in Madison, as he also had a 12-game scoring streak (2/3-3/17/06) that had 17 points to show for it (6 goals, 11 assists).
He also led the Badgers in assists during both seasons at UW, putting up 29 and 33 assists respectively.
While those numbers are truly impressive, it was his selfless play and ability to help defensively that mattered most and won’t show up on a stat sheet all that easily.
Combine the individual results with team glory and Pavelski is perhaps the most memorable player on the Badgers alumni roster in recent years. He’s also gone on to be one of the better players in the NHL since his days at the University of Wisconsin, playing his entire career with the San Jose Sharks.
Full 50 Greatest Badgers List:
No. 50 – Randy Jablonic
No. 49 – Alex Rigsby
No. 48 — Michael Lihrman
No. 47 — Howard “Cub” Buck
No. 46 — Don Davey
No. 45 — Pat O’Dea
No. 44 — Curtis Joseph
No. 43 — Dean Anderson
No. 42 — Ivy Martin
No. 41 — Ron Vander Kelen
No. 40 — Carly Piper
No. 39 — J.J. Watt
What say you about Joe Pavelski or any other member of the list to date? Join the conversation on Twitter @MTBadgers and use hashtag #GreatestBadgers.