Sconnie Sports Talk

Wisconsin men’s hockey: Four sign NLIs for the 2017-18 season

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics


On Monday, the Badgers and Men’s Hockey program announced the four players joining the program after signing National Letters of Intent (NLIs) with the Badgers for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

NLIs allow a program to sign recruits to their team within a certain period of time and, if accepted to the school, the players will automatically join the team for the following season. The early signing period started on Wednesday, November 9th and concludes officially on November 16th.

Take a closer look at the four new recruits below.

Tarek Baker, Forward (Verona, Wisconsin)

Baker is currently in his third year with the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder. As the team’s captain, Baker has six points in 14 games this season including five goals. In his time with the Thunder, Baker became the program’s all-time leader in points (70 in 123 games played).

A Wisconsin native, Baker played on Verona Area High School’s team during the 2011-12 season, scoring an astounding 41 points in his 23 games played. Baker then went on to play for the Omaha AAA Lancers 16 U team for two seasons where he was the captain for one year (2013-14 season).

Jason Dhooghe, Forward (Aurora, Illinois)

Dhooghe is the eldest of the Dhooghe brothers joining the Badgers. Dhooghe has scored two goals and has earned two assists over 16 games with the Green Bay Gamblers after scoring 14 points over 53 games the year prior. In the 2014-15 season Dhooghe played Under Don Granato with Luke Kunin on the U.S. U-18 team through USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP). Dhooghe has also spent seasons with the NAHL’s Springfield Jr. Blues and the Chicago Mission teams in the U16 and U18 divisions, respectively.

Sean Dhooghe, Forward (Aurora, Illinois)

Dhooghe, the younger brother of Jason Dhooghe, is currently in the U.S. U-18 team. At 5’3,” the 139-pound forward leads the team with 53 shots and has scored four goals and earned six points through 20 games in his 2016-17 season.

Dhooghe will come to Wisconsin with experience having also played for Don Granato last season on the U.S. U-17 team through the NTDP. Under Granato, Dhooghe scored 20 goals and earned 10 assists over 54 games, ranking second on his team.

Dhooghe brings experiential diversity to the team in his experience playing internationally, participating in the 2015 U-17 Four Nations Tournament in Slovakia. Dhooghe scored three goals and four points in four games during this tournament. Dhooghe has also played in British Columbia and Michigan for international tournaments.

Tyler Inamoto, Defenseman (Barrington, Illinois)

Inamoto is also a member of the NTDP and is currently playing for the U.S. National U-18 team. Inamoto had the opportunity to play at the Kohl Center this year when the U-18 team played the Badgers in October. In his 19 games this season he has scored goals and earned four assists as a defenseman.

Inamoto has won a USA Hockey Youth Tier 16-U National Championship with Shattuck St. Mary’s High School in Faribault, Minnesota. With Shattuck, Inamoto scored two goals and earned 23 points in his 49 games, ranking him second in defensemen on his team for scoring.

By the time he will be able to play for the Badgers, Inamoto will have played against Minnesota, Boston University, Michigan and the Badgers. This exposure to B1G hockey will give Inamoto a unique perspective and specialized experience for when he joins the Badgers for the 2017-18 season.

While Inamoto didn’t directly Tweet about signing with Wisconsin, he updated his Twitter bio to announce his commitment.