Wisconsin Badgers lose men’s hockey recruit Ethan Leyh to Quinnipiac
Forward Ethan Leyh has recalled his commitment to play hockey for the University of Wisconsin and instead has pledged his college future to Quinnipiac.
Leyh, who originally committed to the Badgers at age 15 in November 2016, said in a text message Friday morning that he visited the ECAC Hockey school this week and “thought it would be a better place for me.”
He cited the Badgers already having four 2001-born forwards ready to join the team next season: Cole Caufield, Dylan Holloway, Owen Lindmark and Alex Turcotte each signed a National Letter of Intent in November.
Like UW, Quinnipiac offered a spot for the fall of 2019, Leyh said.
The change in destination came after Leyh, 17, attracted attention with a starring performance for Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge earlier this month.
In winning a bronze medal, he shared the team lead with five points (three goals, two assists) in six games.
One of the players with whom he tied was Holloway, a potential first-round NHL draft pick in 2020.
Leyh, listed at 6-foot and 187 pounds, is eligible for the 2019 draft, and NHL Central Scouting gave him “C” rating in its October and November watch lists. That put him in the group with potential to be chosen between the fourth and sixth rounds when the June draft is in Vancouver, near his Port Moody, British Columbia, hometown.
Before the World Junior A Challenge, Leyh went on a scoring tear with his British Columbia Hockey League team, the Langley Rivermen. He had seven goals in his last six games, giving him 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) in 29 games for the season.
He was selected to play in the Jan. 22 Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects Game in Okotoks, Alberta, along with Holloway.
Leyh is the fourth player who committed to Badgers coach Tony Granato to change his plans and go elsewhere. The departures of twin defensemen Christian and Cole Krygier and forward Sampo Ranta, however, all had at least some academic component to the switch.
Defenseman Brady Smith also decommitted from the Badgers last month. He committed to previous coach Mike Eaves’ staff in 2015.
UW still has 29 players on its recruiting list, including five who signed a letter of intent for next season.