GLENDALE -- Coyotes prospect Ty Emberson will attend and compete for the University of Wisconsin soon with an eye on returning to Arizona down the road.
"I'm so excited to head to Wisconsin and play for a team that I grew up watching," Emberson said during Arizona's recent prospect development camp. "I'm super excited to hone my game there and hopefully make it back to the desert one day."
Emberson, 18, was born and raised in Eau Claire, Wis. The Coyotes selected him with the 73rd overall pick at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas. He's a shutdown, right-shot defenseman who notched four goals and 31 assists in 95 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program the past two seasons.
"Those were the best two years of my life by far," Emberson said. "Being able to go up against older and stronger competition each and every day, and competing against the best players in the country on a daily basis in practice, it was the best place for me."
Emberson said one of his grandfathers introduced him to hockey as a youngster and that he worked hard early on just to become an average player. Once in middle school, however, his hard work paid off and he began excelling among his peers. Now, his ultimate goal is to become another Wisconsin Badger - to date there's been 83 and counting, including Coyotes center Derek Stepan - to make it to the NHL. He's the sixth Badger drafted by the Arizona/Winnipeg franchise and first since Jedd Soleway (193rd overall) in 2013.
"There's nothing fancy about this guy, he just goes out there and plays," said Tim Bernhardt, Arizona's Director of Amateur Scouting. "He can step up and hit guys, he makes a good first pass. Again, he's not an overly flashy offensive guy, but he can contribute ... He's going to a real good program at Wisconsin and he'll have time there to develop, so we like the way it all sets up."
Emberson attended the draft in Dallas and was thrilled when his good friend and teammate K'Andre Miller was picked 22rd overall by the New York Rangers late in the first round. The next morning, Emberson heard his own name called early in the third round.
"It was all a blur," Emberson said. "It was so great to experience the draft with my family and friends down in Dallas, but right after that it was out to Arizona the next day and back to work."
Emberson's week at the development camp was productive. He said he learned a lot about the Coyotes organization and got a taste of what it's like to be a pro. A highlight came when Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet addressed the nearly 40 prospects as a group.
"I was very impressed by Coach Tocchet and his playing tactics," Emberson said. "It's all about playing fast and respecting the game. That's exciting to me."
Emberson said he patterns his game after NHL defenseman Ryan McDonagh, a former Badger. He likes the way McDonagh plays with composure and skates the sheet.
Video: Emberson on Camp, Future Plans
"The game keeps getting faster and faster, so I think I can really work on that," Emberson said.
Emberson was a key penalty killer for the U.S. team last season and helped Team USA win the silver medal at the 2018 IIHF Under 18 World Championship in Russia.
"He's not the most glamorous pick in this NHL Draft," Seth Appert, head coach of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program U18 team told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. "But I guarantee you he will be playing at the NHL level a lot longer than guys picked ahead of him."