Badgers men's hockey names 2016-17 captains - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers men's hockey names 2016-17 captains

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MADISON, Wis. (Per UW Athletics) – Wisconsin men's hockey head coach Tony Granato announced on Wednesday that sophomore forward Luke Kunin will serve as team captain, while senior forward Grant Besse and junior forward Cameron Hughes will serve as alternate captains for the 2016-17 season.

"With Luke, Cameron and Grant, we have three guys who have outstanding leadership qualities," Granato explained. "They've done an outstanding job of setting the tone from a work-ethic standpoint so far, and I feel real confident in their leadership skills."

Kunin is no stranger to the role, having captained the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-18 Team for the 2014-15 campaign. Among his highlights that season, he led a U.S. Under-18 Team that included the likes of 2016 NHL first overall pick Auston Matthews and sixth-overall pick Matthew Tkachuk to gold at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship. The then-future Badger scored six goals in seven games in the tournament.

The Chesterfield, Missouri, native returns to the Badgers for his sophomore season after getting chosen 15th overall by the Minnesota Wild in this past summer's NHL draft. He paced Wisconsin last season with 19 goals, which shares sixth all-time among Badger freshmen. His 32 points ranked second on the squad and helped him earn selection to the 2016 Big Ten All-Rookie Team.

Besse, who spent last season as an alternate captain, returns to the role this year. UW's leading point scorer the past two seasons posted 11 goals in each of the last two years, collecting 22 points as a sophomore and 33 points as a junior.

The Plymouth, Minnesota, native is a fifth-round draft pick of Anaheim from 2013, when the Ducks made him the 147th overall pick.

Hughes, who wore an 'A' on his jersey signifying alternate captain during the absence of teammates from the lineup last season, now takes the role full-time.

The Edmonton, Alberta, native nearly doubled his freshman season offensive output last year as a sophomore, scoring five goals, 20 assists and 25 points in 32 games. He scored three goals and 13 points in 34 games as a rookie.

Hughes is a 2015 NHL draft pick of the Boston Bruins, who took him in the sixth round with the 165th overall selection.

Notes: Kunin becomes the second sophomore captain in UW men's hockey history, joining Mike Eaves, who served in that capacity during the 1975-76 season ... one other Badger also served on the official leadership core as sophomore as Madison native Craig Smith was an alternate captain during the 2010-11 season ... Hughes served as an alternate captain for a limited number of games last season as a sophomore

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