With a multitude of forwards being lost to graduation and early entry in to the NHL, the Badgers were in need of help on the front line for next season. On Thursday, that help came in the form of USHL veteran Cullen Hurley, who announced his commitment to Wisconsin via Twitter.
Excited to finally announce that I have committed to play college hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for next year! #Badgers
— Cullen Hurley (@Churls93) April 17, 2014
With seven front-line players gone from the 2014 Big Ten tournament champions, Wisconsin needs someone with experience. That’s exactly what Hurley brings to the table.
Hurley is a 6’2″, 195-pound forward who has played the past two years with the Muskegon (Mich.) Lumberjacks in the USHL. He is al 1993-born player and will come in as a very experienced player at the junior level.
In 2012-13, Hurley racked up 12 goals and 25 points in 66 games for Muskegon. This season, he tallied just two goals and 12 points in 55 games played with the Lumberjacks.
Hurley is a native of Eagan, Minn. and will be able to team up with former high school teammate Joseph LaBate this season. Both skated for The Academy of the Holy Angels, where LaBate led the team in points with Hurley coming in just behind him.
One of the biggest assets Hurley possesses is his ability to be very versatile. During his two-year stint in the USHL, Hurley played wing, center and even some defense in a pinch according to Andy Johnson of Bucky’s 5th Quarter.
UW will be very young up front next year, with two players having signed National Letters of Intent (Ryan Wagner and Matt Ustaski) and three other recent verbal commitments (Adam Rockwood, Cameron Hughes and Jason Ford).
The Badgers will feature just three upperclassmen on the roster next year in LaBate, Brad Navin and Matt Paape—who combined for 15 goals and 32 points. LaBate contributed the most to the group, with 11 of the 15 goals and 22 of the 32 points.