Northeastern has received its first verbal commitment of the new recruiting period in the form of Grayson Badger, an ’04 right wing from Hyde Park, MA.
Badger stands an even 6 feet tall and weighs in at 170 pounds. He is a right-shot sniper who has played his last few seasons of hockey with the Cape Cod Whalers youth program, as well as Brookline High School, where he was captain last season as a sophomore. This upcoming season, Badger will play as a senior at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline, MA.
In his last season with the Cape Cod Whalers 16U program, Badger put up 39 points (16 goals) in just 31 games. He’s been a scoring machine for multiple years now, having scored 40 points (25 goals) in his last season with Brookline High, and 51 points (24 goals) in 37 games for the Cape Cod Whalers 15U team. He totaled 80 points in 2 years at Brookline High. He also has experience playing for the USA Select 17 and Select 15 camps, featuring the best players in the nation at those ages.
Badger was an 8th round pick by the Waterloo Blackhawks in the 2021 USHL Entry Draft, which is where (at this point) we expect he will play the 2022-23 season after spending one more year at Dexter. He also was a second round pick in the 2020 QMJHL American Draft (which hardly sees Americans jump to Major Junior no matter when picked), and was picked by the Green Bay Gamblers in the 2020 USHL Futures Draft. He is eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft.
Badger was profiled by MAHockey.org, the official website of Massachusetts hockey, as part of their diversity series as well as profiling Badger as an up-and-coming player. The article talks about leading his juniors teams in scoring, how he adapted during the early stages of the pandemic, but also about how academics are just as important, if not moreso, for Badger. ““[My father] wants me to do well, and academics always comes first for him,” he says. “No matter what it is, that’s one of the biggest things in my house.” With an attitude like that which prioritizes academics on a level just as important as athletics, it’s no wonder Badger found a home at Northeastern.
Badger also offered a self-scouting report, and describes himself in a way that had to make Jerry Keefe and his staff excited: “Whatever it takes to win,” says Badger. “I just want to have team success. I like to incorporate physicality into my game, and I definitely take it one shift at a time. But also playing that shift like it’s your last. Maximum effort, every shift.” Maximum effort, team success, and a blend of skill and physicality- sounds like Jerry Keefe’s team to a tee.
Badger is mentioned as having considered attending the Beanpot (the 2020 Beanpot which featured the Northeastern double-overtime winner against Boston University) as a highlight of the past year. Soon enough, Badger will be able to make his own Beanpot memories wearing the Northeastern red and black.
Badger is a player lauded by scouts, coaches, and teammates alike. In a profile for the Brookline High School paper, his teammate and fellow captain Colin Finnegan said “Grayson has the kind of talent that makes all the kids around him better. He understands his role as a goal scorer and as the most skilled player on the ice, but he is quick to blame himself for small team mistakes and quick to credit others for his own successes.” His head coach, Mike Yanovitch, added “people look to him for leadership and when things aren’t going right, they look to him to pull them along. When you see other players coming along behind him or reacting to what he does, that’s how you can tell he’s a leader.”
Again, this sounds like the prototypical Keefe-era player for the Huskies. Someone who will perform on the ice while also acting as a leader and role model for those around him.
Grayson Badger appears to be a player with a high ceiling, and more importantly, a person who will be easy to root for when he gets to Northeastern. We look forward to watching his development over the next couple of seasons ahead of him arriving to Huntington Avenue. At this point, we expect he would arrive in the Fall of 2023 at the earliest, possibly after one year at Dexter and then another in the USHL.
Congratulations to Grayson and his family. As always, go Huskies!