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Badgers men's hockey team gets commitment from Saskatchewan defenseman Boston Buckberger

Badgers men's hockey team gets commitment from Saskatchewan defenseman Boston Buckberger

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The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated shutdown of in-person recruiting left Boston Buckberger visiting campuses on his phone instead of on the ground.

Boston Buckberger mug


An offensive defenseman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Buckberger was interested in four schools by the end — the University of Wisconsin, Maine, Denver and Cornell.

Through Zoom calls, web videos and mailings, the Badgers won out and Buckberger gave a oral commitment to UW coaches on Friday.

"Just talking with them and getting to know them, they just seem like great people and great coaches," Buckberger said. "The whole campus, just even going on my phone and watching videos of the rink, the Kohl Center, that just looks amazing to me."

Buckberger, 17, will join the Badgers in either 2022 or 2023 after an expected move to junior hockey next season.

Through starts and stops, he posted three goals and three assists in four games for the Saskatoon Blazers Midget AAA program before the pandemic put the season on indefinite hold.

Buckberger said he was pursued by Kamloops of the Western Hockey League to sign with the major junior program where his dad, Ashley, played before starting a six-year pro career.

"The school portion of my life is really important to me and my family," Boston Buckberger said. "So I held off and wanted to see what college might be like or just talk to a few teams."

Buckberger was drafted by the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's La Ronge Ice Wolves in 2018 but he said he's hoping to play in either the Alberta or British Columbia junior leagues next season.

Whether he joins the Badgers in 2022 or 2023 largely depends on how next season goes.

"Maybe if I had a successful junior year next year then I'd be able to step in," Buckberger said. "But if I needed, say, two years then that'd totally be fine with me. Development is one of the biggest components of hockey right now."

Buckberger is the eighth 2003-born player known to have given the Badgers a commitment. Three of them — defensemen Corson Ceulemans and Jacob Martin and forward Caden Brown — have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the team next season.

Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey recruiting tracker

As players give oral commitments to the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team, we'll add them here with their stats.

Players are listed in the order in which they committed.


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