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Badgers hockey captain Ty Emberson will start his pro career in the AHL

Badgers hockey captain Ty Emberson will start his pro career in the AHL

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Badgers captain Ty Emberson defends Minnesota's Jonny Sorenson in the first period of a Feb. 5 game in Minneapolis.

The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team will have a new captain next season after junior defenseman Ty Emberson signed with the NHL's Arizona Coyotes.

Emberson first is headed to play with the Coyotes' American Hockey League affiliate in Tucson after signing a three-year, entry-level contract that starts with the remainder of this season.

The Badgers were prepared for the possibility that Emberson, a third-round pick in 2018, would sign after this season. They have three defensemen signed to enter as freshmen next season: Corson Ceulemans, Jacob Martin and Daniel Laatsch. Seniors Tyler Inamoto and Josh Ess also could return for a bonus season of eligibility.

Emberson, 20, and the rest of the Badgers' leadership group was credited with keeping the team positive through adversity this season. UW won its first conference regular-season championship in 21 years and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years.

Emberson, a physical defenseman, led the Badgers in plus/minus at plus-14 this season. He finished with nine goals and 34 points in 101 career games for UW.

His long pass up ice in overtime of the Big Ten semifinal game against Penn State on March 15 set up Cole Caufield's breakaway goal. He also scored two goals in an 8-1 victory at Minnesota on Feb. 6.

University of Wisconsin men's hockey defenseman Ty Emberson talks with the media after a 4-3 overtime victory against Penn State in the Big Ten semifinals on Monday, March 15, 2021. Video courtesy UW Athletics.

Emberson joined sophomore right wing Cole Caufield in signing a pro contract before completing four seasons with the Badgers. Senior center Ty Pelton-Byce and left wing Linus Weissbach have passed up the chance to return for a fifth collegiate season to sign.

Look back on State Journal coverage of Badgers men's hockey games in the 2020-21 season

Read stories from University of Wisconsin men's hockey games in the 2020-21 season.

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