Wisconsin defenseman Brendan Smith announced that he will sign with the Detroit Red Wings, giving up his last year of eligibility.
Smith may not be 100% ready to play in the NHL, but he has little left to prove at the college level after a fantastic year where he was one of the highest scoring defensemen in the country and a top ten finalist for the Hobey Baker award. Perhaps more importantly, Smith improved his defensive game, which was a huge liability at times in his first two years at Wisconsin. He'll likely need some more polishing on the defensive end in the AHL before he's ready to join the Wings, but should make an impact on their power play in the future.
Meanwhile, Badger captain Ryan McDonagh is discussing his future with the New York Rangers, who hold his rights and could potentially sign with them as well.