Cole Caufield is moving from the University of Wisconsin to pro hockey.
Caufield agreed to terms with the Montreal Canadiens on an entry-level contract Saturday, one day after his sophomore season with the Badgers ended with a loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
He leads NCAA men's hockey with 30 goals and 52 points and is the favorite to win the Hobey Baker Award as the nation's best player.
In 67 career games for UW, Caufield had 49 goals and 88 points. He was the first unanimous Big Ten player of the year after being the freshman of the year last season.
It appears that Caufield, the 15th overall pick of the Canadiens in the 2019 NHL draft, will start his pro career with their American Hockey League team in Laval, Quebec, after completing a quarantine upon arrival in Canada.
Caufield will make $70,000 per season at the AHL level in a standard, three-year contract that pays him $700,000 at the NHL level this season. His NHL salary bumps up to $832,500 in the next two seasons and he has a $92,500 signing bonus in each of the three years.
The Stevens Point native scored 11 times in his final six games with the Badgers, including twice in Friday's loss.
"I am really, really proud of him," UW coach Tony Granato said after Friday's game in Bridgeport, Connecticut. "I know it's a hard year when you've got your professional team sitting there waiting for you. It's hard to stay focused. It's hard to be challenged every game when every other team is looking at you and thinking, OK, we're going to figure out how to shut Caufield down tonight. He found a way every night this year to leave it on the ice for us, to set a great example for the rest of our team. And he's got a lot to be proud of. I know his teammates are proud of him."
The future for Badgers forward Dylan Holloway, also a top-10 Hobey finalist, is a little less clear. He played the last two games of the UW season with a broken thumb, Elliotte Friedman reported on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, and will have X-rays Monday to determine whether he'll sign with the Edmonton Oilers.
Holloway, who had the best faceoff winning percentage on the team, didn't take any in the Big Ten championship game against Minnesota on March 16 and only two in NCAA tournament first-round loss to Bemidji State on Friday.
Look back on State Journal coverage of Badgers men's hockey games in the 2020-21 season
Read stories from University of Wisconsin men's hockey games in the 2020-21 season.
Bemidji State was the aggressor from the beginning and kept UW from playing the brand of hockey it has used to generate scoring chances.
The Badgers paid for a lackluster effort in the second period as the Gophers beat UW for the first time in six championship-round games.
Cole Caufield scored his 27th goal of the season 6 minutes, 50 seconds into the extra session to send the fifth-ranked Badgers past the Nittany Lions 4-3 on Monday in the Big Ten semifinals.
Cole Caufield scores twice to give the Badgers a 2-1 victory at Michigan State and the Big Ten title on the final day of the regular season.
Robbie Beydoun, playing in his home state, makes 28 saves as the Badgers keep the heat on Minnesota in the chase for the Big Ten title.
If a 7-0 victory against Ohio State at LaBahn Arena was Cole Caufield's last time playing at home for the Badgers, it was the kind of effort UW fans will want to remember him by.
Holloway scored twice on the power play to lead the Badgers past the Buckeyes.
Ty Pelton-Byce scored twice for the Badgers, including the tying goal with 26.8 seconds left after UW let two third-period leads slip away.
Coach Tony Granato went down the lineup in handing out individual laurels for good chances created, hits dished out or composed plays in the defensive zone.
The Badgers erase the sour taste of their largest loss of the season with their first victory at Michigan in their past eight tries.
A four-goal second period by the Wolverines was the difference after the Badgers took the lead.
No. 11 UW is alone atop the conference standings after completing its first series sweep at Minnesota in 12 years with an emphatic 8-1 victory against the second-ranked Golden Gophers.
Cole Caufield broke a tie with seven minutes remaining and Dylan Holloway figured in two goals in the following 2:18 as Wisconsin beat Minnesota 4-1.
Cole Caufield scores two goals for the second straight game and Linus Weissbach records his first three-point game of the season.
Robbie Beydoun stopped 19 shots for his second shutout of the season.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first period, the Badgers couldn't pull all the way back with a late push.
The Badgers scored two power-play goals to win at Penn State for the first time in five tries.
A third-period penalty kill was "probably the biggest five minutes of our season so far," Badgers coach Tony Granato said.
UW freshman Cameron Rowe makes 11 saves for his first shutout.
The Badgers outshot the Gophers but paid the price for turnovers, a slow line change and a bad penalty.
Beydoun made 35 saves as the Badgers knocked off the Gophers in their first game since Dec. 4.
Cameron Rowe made 40 saves in his first collegiate start as the Badgers split a series at the Buckeyes.
The Badgers have lost all three games since four forwards became unavailable due to COVID-19 protocol.
Sophomore Jax Murray scored his first two collegiate goals for the Sun Devils as the Badgers fell to .500.
The Badgers were missing five forwards, one of whom sources said was held out because of a positive COVID-19 test and three others who were close contacts.
Caufield had his second hat trick for the Badgers and Tarek Baker scored a key short-handed goal.
Robbie Beydoun made a career-high 49 saves for the Badgers.
Missing their top two centers, the Badgers nearly emerged with a split against the sixth-ranked Wolverines.
The Wolverines scored three times in the final 5 minutes, 22 seconds of the second period to turn a deficit into a two-goal lead going into the intermission.
Dylan Holloway's third-period goal put the Badgers ahead for good after they lost two-goal and one-goal leads.
Linus Weissbach helped provide the offense and Robbie Beydoun was a stable presence in goal in the Badgers' 2-0 victory over No. 20 Notre Dame.