2008-09: Andy Welinski was a defenseman for Minnesota' s Duluth East high school as a sophomore.
2009-10: Welinski skated in 25 games for Duluth East as a junior as the Greyhounds captured the Section 7 AA championship and advanced to the state tournament. Welinski scored 5 goals with 19 assists and was +9 with 18 PMs. Welinski was selected for the Minnesota Advanced 17s and participated in the USA Hockey National Player Development Camp. He committed to attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2012-13.
2010-11: Welinski left Duluth East to play in the USHL with the Green Bay Gamblers. In 51 games, he scored 6 goals and added 8 assists for 14 points. In 11 playoff games, Welinski scored 2 goals as the Gamblers lost in the Clark Cup final. Welinski has verbally committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
2011-12: Welinski was named the USHL's Defensemen of the Year in his second season with the Clark Cup champion Green Bay Gamblers. He led Green Bay defenseman in scoring with 15 goals and 22 assists in 54 games and shared the team plus/minus lead (plus-35) with forwards Sam Herr and Nolan Laporte. The Gamblers rolled through the USHL regular season, winning 47 of 60 games, and defeated Waterloo three games to two in the Clark Cup Finals. Welinski was plus-eight with 2 goals and 2 assists and had 8 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games.
2012-13: Welinski returned to his hometown and played in all 38 games for Minnesota-Duluth as a freshman in a rare losing season for the Bulldogs. He was the leading scorer amongst defensemen with 4 goals and 14 assists and was -14 with 24 penalty minutes. Three of his four goals were scored on the power play. Minnesota-Duluth finished ninth in the WCHA and was swept by Wisconsin in the first round of the WCHA tournament. The Bulldogs failed to win 20 games for the first time since 2007-08.
Welinski hardly struck you in the face with his numbers during his draft year, but coaches, scouts, teammates, and opponents all raved about his potential. In 2011-12, his numbers validated that praise. He has proven himself a fluid skater with a hard, dangerous shot and a bit of a nasty edge to his defensive game. He is having to work on translating that game over to bigger and tougher opponents in the NCAA but the potential is still high for Welinski to succeed.
Welinski is a raw talent who could mature into a physical, puck-carrying defenseman a la Columbus Blue Jacket Jack Johnson. He took a big step in 2012-13 going from the USHL to his freshman season in the NCAA with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. His numbers were decent but he needs to continue to round out his game and mature to reach that potential of a second pairing defenseman.