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NHL Update: Number of Badgers posting impressive seasons in NHL


ON WISCONSIN <b>Justin Schultz is the NHL's top-scoring rookie defensemen (6-14=20) since joining the Edmonton Oilers in mid-January.</b>
ON WISCONSIN
Justin Schultz is the NHL's top-scoring rookie defensemen (6-14=20) since joining the Edmonton Oilers in mid-January.
ON WISCONSIN

April 12, 2013

MADISON, Wis. -- While the season has ended for current members of the Wisconsin men's hockey program, there have been as many as 19 former Badgers skating this season in the NHL, with many still in the thick of the playoff hunt.

Goaltender Brian Elliott has been on a historic run with the St. Louis Blues and the hottest goalie in the NHL. Recently stepping in as the team's starter after Jaroslav Halak sufferred a groin injury, Elliott has recorded three straight shutouts, most recently blanking the Minnesota Wild in a 2-0 win Thursday night.

The Newmarket, Ontario, native has stretched his streak to 189 minutes, 31 seconds without allowing a goal, which is closing in on his own franchise shutout streak of over 201 minutes. Elliott's franchise record streak from last season spanned March 15 to April 4. In the process, Elliott has passed Mike Liut, Jacques Plante, Manny Legace and Grant Fuhr on the Blues' all-time shutout leaders list with 12.

Elliott set a new franchise road record shutout streak, surpassing the Hall of Famer Plante, who previously held the road record with a streak of 141:19 without allowing a score.

Had teammate Andy McDonald not scored the second goal in the Blues' 2-0 win, Elliott and St. Louis would have become the first NHL team in history to win three consecutive 1-0 games on the road.

Elliott was also named one of the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending April 7, after posting a 3-0-0 record during the week, recording a season-high 33 saves and then following with a 28-save shutout performance in a win against the Detroit Red Wings.

Having just been on the other side of a matchup with Elliott, fellow Badger Ryan Suter has been producing a strong season for the Minnesota Wild. The Madison, Wis., native is the top-scoring defender and third overall for the Wild, having scored four goals in 39 games played this season. Suter currently ranks 18th in the NHL this season having recorded 25 assist. The defenseman left Thursday's game with an undisclosed injury.

Currently the top scoring defender on the Edmonton Oilers, Justin Schultz continues his impressive rookie campaign in the NHL. The Kelowna, British Columbia, native has been named to both the AHL All-Rookie Team and First-Team All-Star Team after recording 48 points (18 goals, 30 assists) in just 34 games played with the Oklahoma City Barons to lead league defensemen.

Since mid-January, Schultz has played in 40 games for the Oilers, recording six goals, 14 assists and 20 points as the league's top-scoring rookie defenseman.

Second on the New York Rangers in scoring and 30th in the NHL is Hastings, Minn., native Derek Stepan. The former Wisconsin forward has played in 40 games this season, tallying 14 goals, 20 assists and 34 points. Over his last five games, Stepan has recorded two goals, and an assist in each game for seven points.

Kyle Turris is currently tied for the team lead in scoring on the Ottawa Senators through his 40 games played. The New Westminster, British Columbia, native has tallied 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) and has scored two game-winning goals.

Ranking fourth on San Jose in scoring is Joe Pavelski. Having recorded 12 goals, 13 assists and 25 points in 40 games played, the native of Plover, Wis., also ranks third in the NHL with five game-winners this season.

Joining the ranks of Badgers in the NHL, sophomore Brendan Woods agreed to terms on a professional contract this week, as announced by the Carolina Hurricanes. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native signed on to a three-year entry-level contract. Woods will immediately join the Hurricanes' top minor-league affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).

"Brendan is a big, physical forward who skates well," Ron Francis, Vice President of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes said in a team release. "He has a good knowledge of the game and did a good job in the face-off circle during his second year at Wisconsin."

Of the 19 Badgers that have competed in the NHL this season, 12 are on teams in playoff contention as the season closes in on the postseason. Rene Bourque, Davis Drewiske and the Montreal Canadiens have already clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, as the team is currently in second place in the Eastern Conference with its 26-9-5 overall record and 57 points.

NHL Badgers:
Justin Schultz, Edmonton (debut)
Ben Street, Calgary (debut)
Dany Heatley, Minnesota
Ryan Suter, Minnesota
Tom Gibert, Minnesota
Cody Goloubef, Columbus
Joe Pavelski, San Jose
Derek Stepan, NY Rangers
Ryan McDonagh, NY Rangers
Kyle Turris, Ottawa
Brendan Smith, Detroit
Rene Bourque, Montreal
Jack Skille, Florida
Davis Drewiske, Los Angeles / Montreal
Craig Smith, Nashville
Adam Brusih, San Jose
Brian Elliott, St. Louis
Jamie McBain, Carolina
Jake Gardiner, Toronto

AHL Badgers:
Justin Schultz, Oklahoma City
Ben Street, Abbotsford
Jake Gardiner, Toronto
Brad Winchester, Milwaukee
Michael Davies, Chicago
Andrew Joudrey, Springfield
Matthew Ford, Springfield
Brendan Smith, Grand Rapids
John Mitchell, Norfolk
Cody Goloubef, Springfield
Joe Piskula, Milwaukee
Jake Dowell, Houston
Sean Dolan, Charlotte
Craig Smith, Milwaukee
Jason Clark, Bridgeport
Andy Bohmbach, Abbotsford
Brian Elliott, Peoria

ON WISCONSIN
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