Joe Piscula is only Milwaukee Admirals player from Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — This year’s Milwaukee Admirals have plenty of cultural balance, with players from several different countries — and there’s only one guy from Wisconsin!
“I grew up three hours north of here in the small town of Antigo and it’s just really cool to kinda come back to home,” Joe Piskula said.
Piskula not only grew up in Wisconsin, but he played three seasons as a Wisconsin Badger. He instantly smiles when asked about his college hockey years.
“It was an unbelievable experience and we won it in the Bradley Center. We get to play here every night where we won a national championship. It’s pretty special,” Piskula said.
Piskula wasn’t the only Wisconsin-born standout on the Badgers’ 2006 team. Jake Dowell of the Minnesota Wild and Jack Skille of the Florida Panthers also hoisted the trophy.
“It just shows you if you have a dream, you can work for it and make it from Wisconsin,” Piskula said.
Because of success stories like Piskula’s, youth hockey has become more popular in the Badger State.
“It’s grown in the last 10 years or so. It was a long shot to play beyond high school or beyond juniors. In the last 10 years, it’s become a possibility, and kids are now seeing it can be a real dream and that’s exciting for Wisconsin,” Piskula said.
Piskula is entering his seventh professional season. In fact, he has even spent some time in the NHL.
Admirals Head Coach Dean Evason loves having him on the team, but feels like Piskula deserves more time in the show.
“When we traded for him last year, we knew what we were getting but didn’t expect him to be there player and the person that he is. He went to training camp this year and was the last forward cut from camp. He’s close to playing in the NHL, and if they didn’t have such a good young core he would probably be there,” Coach Evason said.
Piskula says he would love time in an NHL sweater, but he feels comfortable with his role with the Admirals.
“I’m an older guy on the team now, so I have to show the younger guys the ropes — and like the coaches say, being a good pro and conducting yourself well on and off the ice,” Piskula said.
Growing up in northern Wisconsin, Piskula says he grew up a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers.
“Big Packers fan. Hoping to get to some games this year if we have some Sundays off and it’s great to be back here,” Piskula said.