April 2, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -– With his Badger career coming to an end last weekend, senior forward Tyler Barnes (Eagan, Minn.) has taken the next step in his hockey career, signing an Amateur Try Out contract as a free agent with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, a minor league affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
“In Tyler’s four years here, his greatest growth area was that he became consistent in his ability to play at a high level,” said Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves. “With his hard work, he knows what the strengths of his game are and played to those. He’s not the biggest guy, but he will surprise people at how well he works in the corner. That will be an asset to him when starts playing at the next level.”
Barnes’ leap comes after a wildly successful four-year career at Wisconsin, during which he cracked the 100-point plateau in his senior season, played in more than 150 games and helped UW to a pair of NCAA tournament berths as well as a Broadmoor Trophy (2013) and a Big Ten tournament championship (2014).
His final stats are impressive – 45 goals, 56 assists and 101 points. He also managed four game-winning goals over his final two years in Madison and was joined by Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.) and Mark Zengerle (Rochester, N.Y.) to make Wisconsin’s most high-powered line. That trio posted a combined 99 points in their last 25 games together over two seasons to pace the Badger attack.
Barnes’ accolades include WCHA Final Five all-tournament team recognition in 2013, WCHA All-Academic team honors in 2012 and 2013 and Academic All-Big Ten nods in 2013 and 2014. He was named the Big Ten’s First Star of the Week on Nov. 5 for his performance against Lake Superior State. He scored two late goals in the series-opener to spark a Badger comeback tie before dishing out a pair of assists in UW’s 8-1 win the next night.
He also may have made the play of the season against Penn State on Dec. 6, when his no-look, between-the-legs tally was featured on ‘Top Plays’ segments from ESPN to Fox Sports One.
Barnes is expected to be in the lineup on Friday for San Antonio at home against the Charlotte Checkers, a team boasting former Badgers Sean Dolan and Brendan Woods.