Jared Moe

Goaltender Jared Moe started two games for Minnesota in the 2020-21 season, both against Arizona State.

The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team doubled up in adding players from the transfer portal on Tuesday but also lost the third member of its top forward line from this season.

Center Max Johnson and goaltender Jared Moe are transferring to the Badgers from Bowling Green and Minnesota, respectively, adding some interesting dynamics to the lineup and the Border Battle rivalry.

Senior left wing Linus Weissbach, meanwhile, signed an entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabres that'll start next season.

Weissbach joined sophomore right wing Cole Caufield (Montreal, NHL) and senior center Ty Pelton-Byce (Manitoba, AHL) in signing professionally. Players were granted an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic but Weissbach and Pelton-Byce decided against using it.

There was question late last summer whether Weissbach, a seventh-round pick of the Sabres in 2017, would come back to the Badgers for the 2020-21 season or stay home in Sweden to play. He made his return pay off by finishing third nationally in scoring with 41 points in 31 games. He tied his total from the previous two seasons with 12 goals and was a key element of the power play.

The entrance of Moe via transfer from archrival Minnesota is bound to raise the temperature a little more when the teams meet next season.

"I'm sure when we play at Minnesota I'll get some good chirps thrown at me," said Moe, who has three years of eligibility remaining after two seasons with the Gophers. "Probably some that I can't repeat."

It's rare for a player to transfer between the Badgers and Gophers men's hockey teams. Paul Lundeen debuted with UW in the 1977-78 season before moving to Minnesota.

University of Wisconsin men's hockey coach Tony Granato meets with the media after a 6-3 loss to Bemidji State in the NCAA regional semifinals on Friday, March 26, 2021.

The combination of Moe starting only two of Minnesota's 31 games this season and the return of Mike Richter Award finalist Jack LaFontaine to the Gophers for his bonus season gave the sixth-round Winnipeg draft pick in 2018 the incentive to explore a move.

Moe, 21, said he talked to Cameron Rowe, who split time in the UW crease this season with graduate transfer Robbie Beydoun, and expects a good competition next season.

The Badgers also have third-string goaltender Ben Garrity on the roster and have signed Germantown native Noah Grannan for next season.

Like Beydoun last offseason, Moe had to see an opportunity to play to move to UW. Being on the bench as a sophomore wasn't helping his development after he played in 16 games as a freshman with a .915 save percentage.

"When you sit there for a month at a time, two months at a time that's a hard thing to do as a goalie," Moe said. "To stay in game shape you've got to get those games."

Johnson, 22, has a family connection to the Badgers that helped him make his decision on where to transfer after four seasons at Bowling Green. His parents and sister both attended UW — his dad Scott was an inside linebacker out of Madison Memorial in the late 1980s.

"It's been in my family so I've always been a Badger at heart," Johnson said. "It's been my dream school."

Johnson had 48 goals and 122 points in 143 games for Bowling Green. He was one of seven Falcons seniors to enter the transfer portal after the season, looking to spend their extra year of eligibility elsewhere while Bowling Green turned to new players.

He called the 2021-22 season a "business year" for him to improve himself for a possible pro career. He can bring some of the gritty nature that coach Tony Granato said the Badgers will need with the top-line players moving on.

"BG was the perfect fit for that grittiness and it really taught me a lot of things, to be hard on the puck," Johnson said. "I can definitely help out Wisconsin with that."

Look back on State Journal coverage of Badgers men's hockey games in the 2020-21 season

Read stories from University of Wisconsin men's hockey games in the 2020-21 season.


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