Ed Wittchow
Image: U. of Wisconsin

Ed Wittchow

Hometown:

Burnsville Minnesota

Currently Playing In:

NCAA

Birthday:

1992-10-31

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2011

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2011

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

6th round (154th overall), 2011

Weight:

189 lbs.

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History

2009-10: Ed Wittchow scored 2 goals with 6 assists and was +3 as a junior at Minnesota’s Burnsville High School. Burnsville finished third in its last season in Lake Conference play and fell to Bloomington-Jefferson (4-3 in overtime) in the semifinals of the Section 2AA tournament.

2010-11: Wittchow was one of the top offensive defensemen in Minnesota High School hockey as a senior – scoring 11 goals with 15 assists in 28 games (including sectional playoffs) as Burnsville captured the South Suburban conference title and advanced to the Section 2AA finals before falling to Edina. He was named to Team Minnesota team for the six-team Minnesota NIT tournament and was scoreless in four contests. Wittchow was selected by Waterloo in the 1st round (4th overall) of the USHL draft. He was ranked 111th amongst North American skaters by Central Scouting in their final rankings (after not being ranked at mid-season) and was selected by the Florida Panthers in the 6th round (154th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.

2011-12: Wittchow played in all 60 games for the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks in his first junior season. He scored 5 goals with 13 assists and was a team-best plus-22 plus/minus. After finishing third in the West Division, Waterloo reached the Clark Cup finals – taking 2011 runner-up Green Bay to a decisive seventh game. Wittchow had 4 assists and was even with 6 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. He committed to playing college hockey at Wisconsin in 2012-13.

2012-13: Wittchow played 29 games for the University of Wisconsin in his freshman season. Paired primarily with junior Joe Faust (New Jersey), he had 3 assists and was +4 with 28 penalty minutes. The Badgers had a bounce back season. After finishing 10th in the WCHA in 2011-12. Wisconsin was part of a three-way tie for fourth and then captured the league’s playoff title to reach the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin defeated Colorado College, 3-2, in the Broadmoor Trophy Championship game and lost to Hockey East champion Massachusetts-Lowell in the Northeast Regional semifinal.

2013-14: Wittchow steadily emerged as a shut-down defender for Wisconsin in his sophomore season. Skating on the Badgers’ third pairing with junior Chase Drake, he scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was +12 with 26 penalty minutes in 37 games. The Badgers earned an NCAA Tournament berth, defeating Ohio State, 5-4 in overtime, in the championship game of the inaugural Big Ten tournament after finishing second in the regular season. Wisconsin lost 5-2 to North Dakota in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.

2014-15: Wittchow skated in 25 games for the University of Wisconsin in his junior season, missing time at the beginning of the year while recovering from an injury. A shutdown defender and team leader on a young Badgers team, he was -8 with no points and 43 penalty minutes. Wisconsin won just four games all season and was eliminated by Michigan, 5-1, in the Big Ten quarterfinals; the worst season in Madison since the Badgers’ program returned to the varsity level in 1963.

2015-16: Wittchow played in 32 of 35 games for the University of Wisconsin in his senior season. A team captain, he had 7 assists and was -6 with 53 penalty minutes. The Badgers finished last in the Big 10, falling to Penn State, 5-2, in the conference tournament quarterfinals to finish the year 8-19-8.

Talent Analysis

Wittchow is a tall, physical defenseman with decent skills and solid defensive play. He is a strong skater who uses positional play to his benefit. He uses his size well, especially down low and behind his own net, forcing players to change directions or make unplanned passes in order to avoid his physical play and tough defense. He does have a powerful shot from the point and is a good passer, but he is a defense-first player who rarely pushes the play in the offensive zone.

Future

Wittchow was a team captain for the University of Wisconsin in 2015-16 in his final season of college hockey. A senior leader for a team that once again struggled, he has yet to sign an entry-level contract with the Panthers and would become an unrestricted free agent if not signed by this summer. Wittchow is a physical defender with some size and can contribute on the transition. Whether he can be consistent enough to play that role at the NHL level is uncertain.

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