Massimo Rizzo, a 15-year-old center from Burnaby, British Columbia, had a “wonderful experience” on an unofficial visit with the Badgers, his father, Remi, said in an email.
Rizzo plays for the Burnaby Winter Club program under coach Maco Balkovec, who was a UW defenseman from 1991 to 1995.
Granato and associate head coaches Mark Osiecki and Don Granato have seen Rizzo play, Balkovec said, a sign of how invested UW is on recruiting him.
“He’s a guy that looks like he’s on a path to play in the NHL, that’s for sure,” Balkovec said.
Rizzo has 18 goals and 68 points in 39 games for Burnaby’s prep team. With the Bantam team last season, he scored 60 times in 61 games.
The Badgers have competition from a number of colleges as well as the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers, who made Rizzo their first-round pick in last year’s Bantam draft.
Rizzo could forgo NCAA eligibility and go to major juniors next season — two years before he could go to college."