Wisconsin junior defenseman Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.) will give up his final year of eligibility to sign a three-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. McCabe is expected to make his NHL debut tonight when the Sabres take on the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis.
McCabe was drafted 44th overall and in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He’ll join former Badger All-American
defenseman Jamie McBain on the Sabres blue line.
McCabe led Wisconsin defensemen with eight goals and 25 points in 36 games played during the 2013-14 season. That total was good for second among Big Ten defenseman in all games.
In 100 career games at Wisconsin, McCabe finishes with 14 goals, 58 points, 115 penalty minutes, seven power-play tallies, one short-handed goal and four game-winning goals.
McCabe also captained Team USA to a gold medal at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
He’s the second Badger to sign a professional contract after the Badgers ended their season with a loss in the NCAA contract. Forward Michael Mersch signed a entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings and is expected to report to play in the American Hockey League.