Hockey phenom is Wisconsin bound

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Shannon Cron

Patrick Daly has committed to the University of Wisconsin for hockey.

Robby Sutherland, Sports editor

In the state of hockey, Minnesota is known for producing many elite Division I hockey players including the Red Knights defenceman and captain Patrick Daly. Daly has chosen to further his career next year as a Badger at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His first recollections of realizing that DI hockey was a realistic goal came during his sophomore year in high school. “Once I realized that I might have the opportunity to pursue my hockey career after high school, I really looked into how I could further my career and what it would take to be able to play college hockey,” said Daly.

After much effort put in to trying to sell himself to scouts, many colleges showed interest. “Before I accepted the offer from the University of Wisconsin, I had an offer from The University of Nebraska-Omaha,” said Daly, “I also visited Colorado College, The University of Minnesota Duluth, and Bemidji State University.”

Daly owes his DI opportunity to all of his dedication throughout his career. “The main goal for younger kids who want to play DI hockey is to just keep a level head and work hard to achieve your utmost ability,” said Daly.

The journey to the NCAA starts at a very young ages for many athletes – especially hockey players. “The process for a hockey player to get to the DI level is a long one. From early ages you just go through youth hockey and try to make it onto the best team,” said Daly.

Regardless of what team he played on, Daly always played to the best of his abilities realizing that a scout could be present at any time. “The coaches come and watch games throughout the high school season, but they also start watching you in the fall when you play in the Elite League,” said Daly, “That is where a lot of college coaches first see you and then they begin to show interest after that.”

Patrick has been in contact with Wisconsin since the fall. “I first started talking to the defensive coach and got to know him, and then it just gradually progressed until I had the opportunity to make a visit and to see what Wisconsin was all about,” said Daly.

Out of all of his opportunities with many different colleges, he decided on Wisconsin for various reasons. “Going to college and playing a sport is not just all about that sport, you have to enjoy where you are going and like the school,” said Daly, “I felt that Wisconsin demonstrated the best interests for me in regards to the school and the athletics.”

Daly is excited to play under a very successful and experienced coaching staff that is truly dedicated to winning. “The coaching staff at Wisconsin is phenomenal and I can really feel how much the hockey program means to everyone who was involved in it,” said Daly.

Throughout his youth, Daly’s love for hockey was not just a hobby, but a lifestyle. “Growing up I played for the Chaska youth hockey program,” said Daly, “In the summer I played for a AAA hockey program called the Minnesota Icemen.”

Daly has had a lot of support from from his friends and family throughout this process. “My family is very excited about the opportunity. They have always been supportive of my hockey career and my academic performance as well,” said Daly, “I know they are happy for me and are going to be there to support me through the years to come.”

Although he has secured a roster spot as a Wisconsin Badger, “students can expect a Red Knight team who will go out on the ice and give them all we have and hopefully make a run to the state tournament,” said Daly.