Kalynuk, 22 next season, grew up in Virden, playing for the Bantam Oilers before playing one season of midget hockey for the Southwest Cougars. The defenceman then suited up for the hometown Virden Oil Capitals of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League for one season before spending the next three years in the United States Hockey League.
The 2017 seventh round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers completed his sophomore season with the Badgers in 2018-19, chipping in offensively with nine goals, 25 points and 32 penalty minutes in 37 regular season games. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound blueliner matched his point production from his freshman season, while putting up six more goals this past year.
“When you look back at some of the guys that have been captains here and you see names like Tony Granato, Joe Pavelski, Adam Burish, Ryan McDonagh, it’s pretty cool to be mentioned in the same sentence as them,” Kalynuk said. “Its a great honour and I’m very excited. Our team has great potential next year and it’s going to be fun to be a part of the leadership group for this team.”
Kalynuk is the only Manitoban on his NCAA Division I team, and finished the year one point back of co-team leaders forwards Sean Dhooghe and Seamus Malone. His 25 points were fourth in the conference for points for defencemen, trailing Quinn Hughes by eight points.
After finishing the season 14-18-5, Kalynuk and the Badgers fell to the eventual Big-10 finalists Penn State in three games in the quarterfinals in mid-March. The second-year defenceman was named most valuable player for the 2018-19 season, and will look to build upon his success in the upcoming season. Tarek Baker and Sean Dhooghe will serve Wisconsin as alternate captains.