Hayton Makes Official His Move to Wisconsin
CHN Staff Report
All-America goaltender Kyle Hayton made it official today, that he's leaving St. Lawrence and will play for Wisconsin this season as a graduate.
It had been one of the worst-kept secrets this summer that Hayton's intention was to transfer. However, he had to first pass enough courses during the summer at St. Lawrence to graduate. That wasn't known for sure until this week.
According to Wisconsin, Hayton passed about a year's worth of courses over the summer, and got 'As' in all of them.
As a graduate transfer, Hayton does not have to wait the usual one-year transfer period. He has one more season of NCAA eligibility remaining and can do that immediately with the Badgers.
"Basically I just wanted a new challenge," Hayton said.
Two weeks ago, Matt Jurusik had announced he was leaving Wisconsin to return to the USHL, signaling Hayton's impending arrival.
"I am lucky enough to have the chance to continue my collegiate career with one of the best coaching staffs in the country and an extremely talented group of players," Hayton said. "I am so excited to get rolling towards a Championship as a Badger."
Hayton, 23, is a native of Denver. His best season statistically came as a freshman, when he posted five shutouts and a .937 save percentage. His save percentage was .935 as a sophomore and .929 last season as a junior.
Hayton is an undrafted free agent in the NHL's eyes.
"I think he's a confident kid, a kid that looks at our program and the goalies we've produced and he wants to be one of those guys," Wisconsin coach Tony Granato said.
Wisconsin's other goaltender is sophomore Jack Berry. Last season as a freshman, Berry started the most games of anyone on the team, but finished with a save percentage of just .898 as the Badgers fell just short of making the NCAAs.
As Wisconsin's publicity office pointed out in a news release, star NFL quarterback Russell Wilson made a similar move after three years at North Carolina State, playing his final season of college football for the Badgers.
"Big shoes to fill," Hayton said.
Wisconsin plays St. Lawrence in two games in Madison early in the upcoming season, Oct. 27 and 28.