Luke Kunin, selected 15th overall by the Minnesota Wild in last night’s NHL draft, will return to Madison for one more season to play for Tony Granato and the Badgers.

Kunin, the first Badger freshman to lead the squad in goals since Dany Heatley, earned Big Ten All-Freshman Team Honors and finished second among All-Big Ten Freshmen in points. His goal totals ranked fourth in the entire conference. Considering what he has accomplished at such a young age, Kunin’s return is huge for a team looking to return to contention next season.

The Badger star is also a former United States National Team Development Program captain. Kunin is the highest Wisconsin draft pick since 2007.

Incoming freshman forward Trent Frederic was selected 29th overall by the Boston Bruins, making it two Badger first round picks. Frederic also has international experience, spending the last two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program. Coincidentally, both players come from the St. Louis area.

On Saturday, Wisconsin’s defenseman JD Greenway (Maple Leafs, 72nd overall), forward Max Zimmer (Carolina Hurricanes, 104th overall), and defenseman Philip Nyberg (Buffalo Sabres, 129th overall) were also drafted.

It was the 19th consecutive year that the Badgers had at least one incoming or current player drafted.

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Photo courtesy of uwbadgers.com

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