Brad Navin isn't sure when he'll join the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team, but he can't wait for the opportunity.
An 18-year-old center from Waupaca, Navin said Tuesday he's given a verbal commitment to attend UW and play in either 2012-13 or 2013-14.
"I'll play one year of juniors for sure and we'll see where I am after that," Navin said, adding his arrival in Madison could be predicated on whether UW loses any underclassmen to the pros in the next two years.
Navin had scholarship offers from and took official campus visits to Bemidji State and Ohio State, but elected to stay close by and made his decision known to UW coach Mike Eaves on Monday night.
NCAA rules prohibit Eaves from making public comments about recruits until after they sign a National Letter of Intent.
"It's hard to beat playing for your home state," said Navin, who has a 3.9 grade point average and made his official campus visit two weeks ago. "They've always had the reputation for hockey and coach Eaves is known for getting you to the next level."
With a 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame and an elite-level shot, Navin has attracted interest from NHL talent evaluators for the 2011 entry draft. Last month he was included on a "B" list of players to watch by Central Scouting, which indicates a prospect likely to be chosen in the third to fifth rounds.
A year after averaging two goals a game for Waupaca High School, Navin said he plans finish out his prep career and possibly join Sioux City in the U.S. Hockey League when the high school season is over.