It was the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team all the way for Ethan Mann.
Mann, a 15-year-old forward from Grafton, delivered an oral commitment on Friday to the Badgers, the only team he seriously considered in the recruiting process.
"Ever since I can remember, Wisconsin has been my dream school," Mann said. "And after being on campus, there is a vibe that makes you feel good that you can't find anywhere else. And there isn't going to be a more experienced and talented coaching staff than with Wisconsin."
The earliest he'll join the Badgers is in 2021.
Mann, listed at 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds, scored 15 goals with 18 assists in 27 games as a freshman last season for University School of Milwaukee.
He also plays for the Team Wisconsin 16-and-under squad, and he was headed to Eau Claire to meet his teammates for a game Friday night after a campus tour in Madison earlier in the day.
He's the only 2003-born skater with his Team Wisconsin group, coach Craig Johnson said, and he has handled playing up well enough that he's on the top forward line.
You have free articles remaining.
"I didn't know what to expect from him," said Johnson, a former Badgers defenseman. "I didn't know if he was going to try to do too much. But he's just very quietly spoken. He leads by example on the ice."
A smaller body doesn't stop Mann from challenging bigger players in the corners. And an accurate, quick right-handed shot is among his talents.
"He's a tremendous player with and without the puck," Johnson said. "Wisconsin got a good one today."
Mann said he had a few conversations with coaches from other schools but nothing serious.
He earned a spot at the USA Hockey Select 15 player development camp earlier this year.
Mann is the second 2003-born player to commit to the Badgers this week, and the fifth overall. Illinois defenseman Grayden Daul committed on Monday.
A UW recruit from the 2002 birth year, defenseman Casey Roepke, plays with Mann at Team Wisconsin and University School.