Oscar Skiöld said there were no promises made by University of Wisconsin men's hockey coaches when he asked to try to earn his way onto the team.
That didn't deter him from enrolling in school at UW for the spring semester just to have a chance to practice.
"It's Wisconsin. It's a great program," Skiöld said. "A lot of players want to come here, and if I can come here and compete for a spot and be around the guys and get to know the program even more, that's something I would do over again, for sure."
Skiöld has been practicing with the team since Dec. 28, when UW returned from a two-week layoff for exams and Christmas. His tryout status is underscored by him using his own equipment and dressing in a Badgers sweater with no name or number.
Coach Tony Granato's first impression was that Skiöld is "a pretty decent player."
A 21-year-old forward from Stockholm, Skiöld played the last two seasons for the Jersey Hitmen of the junior-level United States Premier Hockey League.
He had connections to the Badgers through goaltender Johan Blomquist, also a Stockholm native, and through contacts that know Granato and associate head coach Mark Osiecki.
UW already has 15 forwards on its roster — three more than typically dress for games — but is temporarily down to 14 while Trent Frederic plays at the World Junior Championship.
Skiöld said a competitive nature, skating skills and hockey sense are his strengths. In practice, he has shown good hands around the net.
Is he a potential addition to the roster? "We'll wait and see," Granato said.
In the rankings
The Badgers, who haven't played since being swept at home by Notre Dame on Dec. 8-9, fell two spots to 15th in this week's USCHO.com Division I men's poll. Other results last weekend, however, pushed them up two spots to 19th in the PairWise Rankings, which determine at-large teams for the NCAA tournament. ... Frederic and the U.S. beat Russia 4-2 in Tuesday's World Juniors quarterfinals, so he'll miss at least Friday's game at Penn State. The tournament concludes with semifinals on Thursday and medal games on Friday, and there's a chance Frederic could rejoin the Badgers for Saturday's game.