MADISON, Wis. (PRESS RELEASE) -– Wisconsin men's hockey head coach Mike Eaves announced today the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The future group of Badgers includes forwards Tyler Lapic (New Prague, Minn.), Matt Paape (Appleton, Wis.), Cody Strang (Madison, Wis.) and Brendan Woods (Palmyra, Pa.), as well as goaltender Joel Rumpel (Swift Current, Saskatchewan).
Lapic, 6-2 and 195 pounds, will join the Badgers from the Chicago Steel of the USHL. Through 11 games, the left-handed shot has one goal and seven points to share fourth on his team in scoring. In his second year in the USHL, Lapic skated for both Des Moines and Omaha in 2009-10, posting four goals and six points in 30 games played for Des Moines and adding one goal and seven points in 15 games played for Omaha.
As a senior at New Prague High School, Lapic put up 23 goals and 65 points in 25 games played. He collected 37 goals and 71 points as a junior and 24 goals and 44 points in 22 games played as a sophomore.
Eaves on Lapic, "Tyler is a power forward, big lad, who brings a nice skill set to the rink. We expect him, hopefully right away, to be a contributor."
Paape, a 5-10 and 185-pound forward, currently skates with Sioux City of the USHL. Through 14 games, the Appleton, Wis., native has two goals and four points. In his first year in the USHL in 2009-10, Paape put up 11 goals and 23 points in 55 games played.
A past member of Appleton United High School team, Paape also skated for Team Wisconsin. Named first-team all-state as a junior in 2009, he was also honorable mention all-state as a sophomore.
Eaves on Paape, "Matt is a Wisconsin born and bred young man who brings a nice skill set to the game. He has a knack for being around the puck, and the puck finds him. We expect him to bring some offense to our team."
Rumpel, a 6-3 and 175-pound goaltender, will arrive in Madison from Penticton of the BCHL. In 15 games played with the Vees this season, Rumpel is 9-5-0 with a 2.87 goals-against average, .902 save percentage and one shutout. Last season, Rumpel went 19-3-0 with a 1.97 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and two shutouts.
Eaves on Rumpel, "He brings a nice pedigree related to the Badger family with his uncle, Roy Schultz, who was an All-American goaltender here back in the early 1980s. He's a really good athlete. He's a tremendous track and field athlete so he's got natural physical abilities, and he's putting those abilities to work in the game of hockey. He's going to come in next year as a freshman and going to jump right into the pipes and play immediately for us."
Strang, a 5-9 and 170-pound forward, currently skates in his second season for Youngstown of the USHL. Wisconsin's Mr. Hockey in 2009 for his 39-goal, 76-point senior season at Edgewood High School, the Madison native helped his high school to the 2008 state championship game. Last season in the USHL, he posted nine goals and 19 points in 48 games, recording the first hat trick in Youngstown's history. In 2010-11, Strang has four goals and nine points in 14 games thus far.
An outstanding golfer, Strang won a pair of division two state golf titles and captured the 85th Wisconsin State Junior Championship in 2008. He also won the Wisconsin PGA junior title in the boys 16-18 division in 2009 after helping his high school team win the division two team title.
Eaves on Strang, "Cody's a local boy. He was the leading point getter in his senior year at Edgewood. He's really a crafty player with the puck and for not being a very big lad, he has the heart of a wrestler. He knows how to spin away, he's not afraid to go to the hard areas and he's a good teammate. We expect good things from him offensively."
Woods, 6-3 and 192 pounds, skates for the first-year USHL team Muskegon under former Badger assistant coach Kevin Patrick. Listed at No. 24 in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary USHL draft rankings, the Palmyra, Pa., native has three goals and five points through 12 games this season. Last year, Woods posted six goals and 10 points in 34 games playing for Chicago after missing a portion of the season with an injury. He was rated 83rd among North American skaters for the 2010 NHL Draft, but went undrafted.
Eaves on Woods, "He's from a hockey family. His dad [Bob] played in the NHL and now coaches with the Washington Capitals. He can be a power forward for us. He plays at top tempo and gives us good size. He will play hard."
Courtesy: UW Athletics