McBain to return for junior year

first_imgBEN CLASSON/Herald photoWhen the season ended for the UW men’s hockey team, Jamie McBain had a choice. The sophomore defenseman could either stay with the Badgers for his junior season or follow the lead of former teammate Kyle Turris and head to the pros.For McBain, the choice was easy.“I love the campus here, I love the coaches, I love my teammates,” McBain said in a phone interview Wednesday. “It was kind of a no-brainer for me.”There had been speculation after the season that McBain — the second-round selection of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft — would take the money and run, foregoing two years of his collegiate eligibility. But earlier this week, the Faribault, Minn., native squelched any rumors, announcing he would return next season.McBain said he talked to both the Hurricane coaches and UW head coach Mike Eaves about his choice, but the decision was ultimately up to him.“I talked to the coaches at Carolina and they were happy with how I was coming along here,” McBain said. “I pretty much just told [Coach Eaves] I was coming back, and he didn’t have anything to worry about.”With his return, McBain will be the most experienced blueliner on the Badger roster. Wisconsin lost seniors Davis Drewiske and Kyle Klubertanz to graduation — meaning, with 71 games played, McBain has seen more collegiate action than any other UW defenseman.It also means he’ll be thrust into a leadership role, one that he feels comfortable taking.“It’s definitely going to be different,” McBain said. “Definitely with the younger guys coming in, I’m going to let them know what’s going on and know that I’m here.”The biggest thing McBain saw in the freshmen last season was a sense of nervousness that stemmed from inexperience. As the season progressed, however, the nerves of the newcomers calmed down.“Any player, especially defensemen, they go through it,” McBain said of the learning curve. “They’re nervous and shaky … from whatever it might be.”One freshman in particular McBain saw adjust quickly was Ryan McDonagh, who was McBain’s linemate for most of the season. McDonagh finished the season with five goals and seven assists, playing in all 40 games.“With McDonagh, I was his partner all year, and I could tell it with him,” McBain said of overcoming nerves. “I trusted him. I had no doubts in my mind he’d have my back.”Another youngster McBain was particularly impressed with was Cody Goloubef. Although he was the youngest member on the UW roster, Goloubef came into his own in the latter part of the season, contributing 10 points in his first year with the team.“He just turned 18, so it’s definitely an adjustment period,” McBain said.With McDonagh and Goloubef returning with a year of experience under their belts — as well as fellow freshmen Brendan Smith and Craig Johnson — McBain is confident in the group he’ll be overseeing next year.As for the season after that? Well, McBain says he’ll just have to wait and see.“I haven’t looked too far into it,” McBain said. “I love it here. I love college, but we’ll see how next year goes.”last_img read more