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.

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"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.


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