Mike Vorlicky was not deterred by the number of defensemen who have committed to play for the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team.

Rather, it's a continuation of what he's already experiencing with one of Minnesota's best high school programs.

Vorlicky, a puck-moving defenseman at Edina High School, on Tuesday gave Badgers coaches an oral commitment. The 17-year-old junior could join UW in 2019 or 2020.

He's the 12th defenseman known to be committed to the Badgers for future seasons.

"I see that more as incentive to try to get in the lineup every night and just compete every day," Vorlicky said. "That's what Coach (Tony) Granato has told me that the atmosphere is.

"And that's how it is at Edina, because they expect you to play night in and night out. And if you're not doing that, there's going to be a guy right behind you that's going to take your spot. That's just the atmosphere, and that breeds excellence."

Vorlicky, who described himself as a steady defenseman with good skating skills, said he also had been talking with Notre Dame, Minnesota, Yale and Harvard.

But he said UW won out after he took an unofficial visit.

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"I loved the city of Madison, and the hockey program's awesome," Vorlicky said. "The coaching staff's the best in the country. The energy around Madison's just awesome."

Vorlicky has one goal and six points in 15 games for Edina, which is ranked third in Minnesota's Class AA by Let's Play Hockey.

His head coach is former Minnesota Duluth and NHL defenseman Curt Giles.

"He is super good at developing us," Vorlicky said. "Right now, we're a high-offense team. Our forwards are super good and super skilled, but he has to remind us all that when we get away from playing in our (defensive) zone that the offense doesn't come."

Vorlicky joins a large group of defensemen who are known to have committed to the Badgers. Four of them have signed a National Letter of Intent for next fall: Ty Emberson, Christian Krygier, Cole Krygier and K'Andre Miller.

All four are projected as candidates to be selected in the second or third round of the 2018 NHL draft by Central Scouting.

Other defensemen committed to UW are fellow 17-year-olds Brady Smith and Pat Keegan; 19-year-old Jesper Peltonen; 18-year-old Luke LaMaster; and 15-year-olds Daniel Laatsch, Anthony Kehrer and Casey Roepke.

Sioux Falls owns Vorlicky's United States Hockey League rights. He said he plans to play there at some point but hasn't decided whether that'll be before or after his senior year at Edina.


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