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Peter Tischke photo

Defenseman Peter Tischke led the Badgers in blocked shots in the 2017-18 season.

Peter Tischke already is one of the most relied upon defensemen for the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team.

Now, he'll add an official leadership title: team captain for the 2018-19 season.

The Badgers announced Thursday that Tischke will take the role for his senior season, with senior forward Seamus Malone as alternate captain.

Tischke, an undrafted free agent, had opportunities to sign a pro contract after last season but instead will be the veteran presence on a defensive corps that will include five players who have been drafted by NHL teams.

"He's been an outstanding leader since the day we got here," Badgers coach Tony Granato said in a news release. "He's a rock-solid defenseman who is going to play a ton of minutes for us. He does everything and has been our most consistent player. He's going to be a great captain."

Tischke, who was invited to development camp for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, has been among the Badgers' leaders in time on ice during Granato's two seasons in charge.

In 99 games for the Badgers over his first three seasons, Tischke has five goals and 19 assists and is minus-5.

A fiery competitor, he led UW and was 13th in the country with 79 blocked shots last season, an average of more than two per game.

Tischke has been named an honorable mention all-Big Ten Conference selection in the last two seasons.

Malone will be an alternate captain for the second straight season. He was one of four alternates under Cameron Hughes in the 2017-18 season.

"He's one of those guys who always looks out for his teammates," Granato said. "He has great character and is a hard-working guy who is respected by everyone else in the locker room."

Malone, a center, is one of three returning players who scored 10 goals last season for the Badgers, joining wing Linus Weissbach and center Tarek Baker. Malone is the team's active career leader with 25 goals and 78 points.

The Badgers, who open the season Oct. 12-13 at home against Boston College, haven't had a two-person leadership group since 2008-09. That season, Ben Street and Blake Geoffrion started as co-captains before Street suffered a season-ending injury in the fourth game.

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