Mick Messner plans to continue his hockey career at Merrimack after departing the University of Wisconsin through the NCAA transfer portal.
The center, however, is unsure when he will become eligible to play for the North Andover, Massachusetts, school. NCAA transfer rules generally require a player to sit out one season after transferring, but the body has granted waivers in some situations.
Messner, 21, confirmed earlier this month that he had entered the transfer portal after playing two seasons with the Badgers. He declined an interview request but said he had "only positive things to say about the University of Wisconsin."
The center was a healthy scratch at the end of the 2019-20 season. He sat out the last four games and eight of the last nine to wrap up the campaign with one goal and one assist in 23 contests.
When he did play last season, Messner was limited to fourth-line minutes and the penalty kill on a team that was deep at center. He led the team in faceoffs in each of his two seasons, winning 53.3% as a sophomore and 48.9% as a freshman.
He earned an invitation to the Vegas Golden Knights' development camp last summer as an undrafted player following a seven-goal, five-assist first season. He appeared in all 37 games as a freshman.
Messner already has played at Merrimack's Lawler Rink, scoring a goal in the Badgers' 11-5 victory over the Warriors on Oct. 12, 2019.
Messner is the second player to transfer away from the Badgers this offseason. Right wing Sean Dhooghe left for Arizona State after playing three seasons at UW.
The Badgers also have been on the other side of the transfer portal this offseason: Goaltender Robbie Beydoun is scheduled to join the team after three seasons at Michigan Tech. He's immediately eligible to play as a graduate transfer.
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