Nov. 24, 2010
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin women’s hockey head coach Mark Johnson announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Katy Josephs (Calgary, Alberta), Karley Sylvester (Little Falls, Minn.), Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, Nova Scotia) and Katarina Zgraja (Waterloo, Ontario) plan to attend the University of Wisconsin and play hockey for the Badgers beginning in the 2011-12 season.
“Overall, I think our recruits are very good students,” Johnson said. “All have had opportunities to play at a high level in their age group in the under-18 program. They’re all very skilled. When you put those things together, that’s why we are all excited about having them come in. They have the same aspirations, and they’ll be a good fit for what we’re trying to do.
“This class as a whole will be able to come in and make an immediate contribution. They’re going to have to, that’s why we’re recruiting them. They are going to be freshmen but they are going to get a chance to play and help win some games, so that should be exciting.”
A 5-4 forward, Josephs joins the Badgers after playing for the Higwood Raiders Midget AAA Female team (AMMFHL). Josephs is in her third season with the team and her second as an assistant captain and rotating captain. She spent the 2007-08 season with the Cochrane Rockies Midget A Female team where she was also an assistant captain.
Josephs has skated for Team Alberta and competed in the Alberta Winter Games. Her international hockey experience also includes scoring one goal and adding two assists as a member of the Canadian national women’s under-18 team in the 2010 Women's Under-18 Series against the U.S. in Aug. 2010 and taking part in the Alberta Challenge Cup.
Johnson on Josephs:
“Katy is a good solid player and has shown it in being part of the under-18 program. She does a lot of things very well. We think she has a lot of upside, just tapping the surface in regards to the kind of player she can eventually become. She’s a very good student, wants to get involved in the engineering program. We’re very excited to bring her in.”
Sylvester is a 5-9 forward out of Little Falls, Minn. She currently plays for coaches Derrick Comstock and David Marvin at Warroad High School and enters her senior season as a three-time varsity letterwinner. As a junior, Sylvester led the Warriors to a 28-1-1 record and the Minnesota Class A state title. A three-time all-conference honoree, Sylvester was named all-state by the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association as a sophomore and junior.
Sylvester’s international hockey experience includes participation in U.S. national development camps. As a member of the U.S. women's under-18 select team, Sylvester and Team USA swept Canada in three-games at the 2010 Women's Under-18 Series in Lake Placid, N.Y. Sylvester scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give the U.S. a 3-2 win in game two of the series.
Johnson on Sylvester:
“Karley is a left-handed forward. She has shown she can score goals, a good skater, very fundamentally sound. I think she has a lot of upside. Although she’s part of our under-18 team and has already shown signs of being a very good player up to this point, we’re excited because we think there’s a lot of upside left in her.”
Turnbull, whose full name is Kathleen Blayre Turnbull, currently plays for coach Gordon Stafford at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn. As a junior, the 5-7 forward tallied 60 points on 30 goals and 30 assists in 52 games played for the Sabres. The Stellarton, Nova Scotia, native skated for Canada at the 2010 Women's Under-18 Series in Lake Placid, N.Y. as well.
Johnson on Turnbull:
“I have gotten to see Blayre play a few times. I watched her in the under-18 team tournament last summer out in Lake Placid. We’re excited to bring her in from the standpoint that she has good size, she has good strength and she has a lot of tools in her toolbox. We think she can be a very, very good college hockey player.”
Zgraja (pronounced Zig-rye-a) is a 5-5 defenseman from Waterloo, Ontario. She currently plays for Bluevale Collegiate Institute and enters her third season as team captain as a senior. Zgraja is a three-time WSCAA all-star team member and three-time Bluevale Knights MVP award recipient. She plays club hockey for the Waterloo K-W Rangers and has six points on two goals and four assists through 14 games this season.
Zgraja’s international hockey experience includes skating for Canada in the 2010 Women's Under-18 Series against the U.S. in Lake Placid, N.Y., in Aug. 2010. She also participated in two Canadian national women’s under-18 team camps – the selection camp in Aug. 2010 and the strength and conditioning camp in May 2010. Zgraja was a member of the OWHA all-star team for an exhibition game against the U-18 national team in April 2010.
Zgraja was also named to the Team Ontario U-18 squad that will participate in the Canada Winter Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Feb. 2011.
Johnson on Zgraja:
“Kat is a defenseman with great skating skill and great vision for the ice. That certainly is going to help us when we lose a couple of defensemen [to graduation]. She’s going to have an immediate impact with regards to playing time and responsibility. She’s really excited about coming in, so I think she’s going to be a great fit.”