Wisconsin star Cole Caufield is planning to return for his sophomore season, skipping a chance to go straight to the NHL after being selected with the No 15 overall pick in the 2019 draft by the Montreal Canadiens.
Caufield, 19, led the Big Ten in goals (19) and was second in the conference in points (36) during his freshman season.
"This additional year in the NCAA will benefit Cole and will allow him to continue developing his skills within the Badgers' environment," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement Tuesday. "Cole is an important part of the Montreal Canadiens' future and we will continue to follow his development with interest."
Caufield's decision to stay helps fortify a Badgers team that lost two other key players to the NHL. Freshman center Alex Turcotte and sophomore defenseman K'Andre Miller were also drafted in the first round and have signed with the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers, respectively.
Caufield will have his work cut out for him in his sophomore season, as Wisconsin finished last in the Big Ten with a 14-20-2 overall record last season.