The Duluth, Minn. native scored three goals and notched five assists in 21 games at Wisconsin as a sophomore last season. He played in 33 games as a freshman and had six assists.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported May 9 that Sawatske was leaving the Badger program because he was unhappy with the reduced playing time he received between his freshman and sophomore seasons.
"I want to play and I want to be in a situation where I feel like I'm a main contributor on a team," Sawatske told the paper. "Judging by the way things have gone the last two years, I haven't been (a front-line player) and I really didn't see that changing."
The Badgers also must replace two senior defensemen who played among the team's top two defensive pairs—Dan Boeser and Andy Wozniewski. Wisconsin also loses senior blue liner Jon Krall and four-year junior Chris Julka, leaving the Badgers with seven defensemen for 2004-05: sophomores-to-be Ryan Suter, Jeff Likens and Matt Olinger, junior-to-be Tom Gilbert and incoming freshmen Davis Drewiske, Kyle Klubertanz and Joe Piskula.
In addition, Suter could still elect to make the leap to the NHL. The Nashville Predators selected him No. 7 overall last June.
"It's all up in the air and right now I'm just basically kind of thinking I'm coming back here so I'm training hard and working hard with the guys," Suter said recently.
Stampede select Gorowsky
The Sioux Falls Stampede selected Tom Gorowsky No. 1 overall in the USHL Entry Draft Wednesday. A forward out of Centennial High School in Circle Pines, Minn., Gorowsky has given a verbal commitment to the University of Wisconsin for the 2005-06 season.
In his senior season at Centennial this year, Gorowsky tallied 40 goals and 54 assists in only 29 games, earning Minnesota's Mr. Hockey award.
—Eric Schmoldt contributed to this story