WAUSAU – Josh Bohlin’s decision on where he wanted to play college hockey came down to what he felt was the right fit. The fact it is a program that he grew up cheering for didn’t hurt either.
The former Wausau West standout committed to the University of Wisconsin men’s program, an announcement he shared on his Twitter account Thursday.
“It’s the in-state team and that’s kind of what every kid in Wisconsin wants to do,” said Bohlin, who is in his first year playing for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the United States Hockey League. “I think the program is moving in a really good direction, the coaching staff is excellent and the culture is really good.”
The Badgers’ interest picked up while he was playing in a U.S. National Development camp earlier this summer.
“I talked with (Badgers assistant) coach (Mark) Osiecki quite a bit. We started developing our relationship there and it just kind of materialized (with the offer) quite recently,” Bohlin said. “It is cool how things kind of happened and worked out, but I just kept my nose to the grindstone (during the recruitment) and never looked too far ahead. I took the days as it happened. Eventually this happened and I was happy that it did.”
Bohlin had 30 goals and 53 points for the Warriors last year in his junior season as West reached the WIAA state semifinals. He was a first-team all-state forward by the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association after the 2016-17 season and was selected in the sixth round of the USHL draft this summer.
“Josh provides a ton of offensive skill but he can play at both ends of the rink. He is the type of guy they call a ‘200-foot player’ meaning he can contribute on both ends,” Wausau West coach Brian Brandt Jr. said. “He is a guy who can play in a lot of different situations, and he is a really intelligent kid in those (situations). He has a lot of upside.”
RIVERWOLVES SET FOR INAUGURAL OPENER
Newman Catholic senior Michael Alfonso is on the roster for the Wausau RiverWolves, who open their inaugural season Friday at Marathon Park.
Alfonso, who played for the Mosinee HIgh School program the past two seasons, will not be in uniform, however, as he is finishing out his prep football season with the undefeated Newman Catholic team. Alfonso, a forward, had 16 goals and 23 points for Mosinee last year.
Alfonso is one of eight Wisconsin natives on the 19-player roster for the RiverWolves, which is part of the NA3HL, a Tier III level junior hockey program. Two Merrill natives are part of the team as well — defenseman Ben Brown and forward Austin Burgener.
Burgerner led the Wausau East/Merrill co-op program with 21 goals and 29 points last year. Brown had four goals and 14 points.
The RiverWolves have players from seven states overall.
The RiverWolves host Rochester for a two-game weekend series. Both games on Friday and Saturday start at 7 p.m.