For the sixth time since Tony Granato took over as head coach in 2016, the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team has received an oral commitment from a 14-year-old player.
Of that already young group, Nick Pierre has become the youngest.
Pierre, a forward who'll enter ninth grade at Hill-Murray School in the Twin Cities in the fall, announced Wednesday that he had committed to the Badgers. The earliest he'll join UW is 2022.
Extremely proud and honored to announce my commitment to play Division I college hockey for the University of Wisconsin! Thank you to my family, friends, coaches, trainers and teammates who have helped make this opportunity possible! #Badgers— Nick Pierre (@nickpierre11) June 7, 2018
At 14 years, 58 days on Wednesday, Pierre is younger than the other 14-year-olds at the time of their nonbinding oral commitments to Granato's team: forward Tanner Latsch (14-174), defenseman Corson Ceulemans (14-333) and forwards Isaac Novak (14-339), Caden Brown (14-341) and TJ Koufis (14-357).
Listed at 5-foot-8 and 161 pounds, Pierre was a highly discussed player leading into the 2018 Minnesota state high school tournament as an eighth grader playing for Hill-Murray.
He was called up from the junior varsity program late in the season, then scored a goal-scoring flair in his time with the varsity. He had eight goals in the Pioneers' last eight regular-season games and added two goals and two assists in the postseason.
He played with Badgers recruit Ben Helgeson at Hill-Murray.
Pierre is the first 2004-born player to give the Badgers an oral commitment but not the first in the country. Forwards Connor Levis and Cruz Lucius have committed to Michigan and Minnesota, respectively.