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Noah Grannan and the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team seem like a natural fit.

Grannan has grown up with Badgers apparel on the walls of his Germantown home and comes from a family of UW sports fans.

The Badgers are projected to have a need for a goaltender to join the team in 2020, the season after Grannan graduates from high school.

The connection was confirmed Monday night when Grannan paid a visit to UW coach Tony Granato and gave an oral commitment to the Badgers.

"Living in Wisconsin, it's always been my dream to play for the Badgers," Grannan said. "I just knew that this is where I wanted to be."

Grannan's decision brings more clarity to the Badgers' future at goaltender, a position of volatility in recent years.

In 2020, UW is scheduled to lose Jack Berry, who has spent parts of his first two collegiate seasons as the starter.

Daniel Lebedeff of the North American Hockey League's Janesville Jets has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the team next season.

When Kyle Hayton arrived via a graduate transfer for his senior season last year, Matt Jurusik left the Badgers after two seasons. Jurusik has since committed to join Michigan Tech next season.

Over the past four seasons, UW's team save percentage was .889, fourth-lowest among the 60 Division I men's hockey teams.

By the time he joins the Badgers, Grannan could have some high-level experience. He was one of six goalies invited to last month's evaluation camp for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

If he's selected for the Michigan-based team, he'll spend the next two seasons preparing for college hockey in international and junior competition.

That's in line with the outlook envisioned by Matt Murray, his coach for the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Junior Admirals.

"He's a kid that tests well in all of our off-ice testing," said Murray, who played for the Badgers from 1998 to 2002. "He's an all-around quality, high-end goaltender.

"He's a kid that I always suspected would have high-level opportunities because every time he played the best teams was when he was the best. He stole a lot of games from teams that we probably weren't as good as because he kept us in it when we were getting pressed."

Murray described Grannan, who turns 16 on April 27, as technically sound, athletic and a hard worker.

Grannan said he uses his 6-foot-2 frame to play an aggressive style.

With the Junior Admirals' Under-16 team last season, he had a 2.76 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 22 games.

Grannan joins a long list of Badgers recruits. In addition to 11 players who have signed with UW, 25 players are known to have given UW coaches a verbal commitment for future seasons.

He's the sixth 2002-born player to commit to the Badgers and the fourth in that group from Wisconsin. The others are forward Isaac Novak of Sussex, defenseman Daniel Laatsch of Altoona and defenseman Casey Roepke of Erin.

Forward Tanner Latsch of Twin Lake, Michigan, and defenseman Anthony Kehrer of Winnipeg, Manitoba, are also among the 2002-born recruits.

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Todd D. Milewski covers Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey and the UW Athletic Department for the Wisconsin State Journal.