Wisconsin goalie Matt Jurusik is leaving the Badgers to join the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League. The rising junior had made 50 appearances, with 48 starts, over two years in Madison. Last season, Jurusik split time in net with freshman Jack Berry. While head coach Tony Granato has stood by his goalies, both had save percentages under .900 and ranked 56th out of 60 division I teams.
Jurusik is likely only playing in the USHL for one season. After that he can transfer to another school with two seasons of eligibility remaining. Strategically, this is a good move for Jurusik’s career path. He can play this entire upcoming season without having to back up for Kyle Hayton, and will then be able to pick a school of his choice next year.
As for Kyle Hayton, he was able to graduate from St. Lawrence over the summer, allowing him to come to Wisconsin as a graduate transfer and not miss any time. Hayton is 23 years old, and played for the premier youth program in the country, Shattuck St. Mary’s out of Minnesota as well as in the USHL before enrolling at St. Lawrence.
While inconsistency was the goaltending story last year, Hayton is the exact opposite. Hayton finished seventh in save percentage last season by posting .929 percentage. He also had five shutouts to go along with his 2.28 goals against average. He is clearly one of the top goaltenders in college hockey, and can possibly push the Badgers over the hump and into the NCAA tournament.