Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Burish stepping into leadership role for Wisconsin

[media-credit name=’AJ Maclean’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]Burish_AM_400[/media-credit]Behind almost any great team is a great leader. While the 5-1 Ice Badgers have a long way to go before they can be considered a great team, they are developing a great leader in junior Adam Burish.

Voted the team’s captain before the season by his teammates, Burish has always worked as hard as anyone on the ice. That hard work has paid off as his peers have recognized his commitment to the team.

“I try to set an example that hard work is a premium here [at Wisconsin], and to be successful we need to work harder than anybody else,” Burish said. “I think my hard work is why I was voted captain.”


According to his teammates, the intensity that Burish brings to the ice day in and day out is one of the biggest reasons that this team is playing at its high level.

“Nobody in that locker room gives less than 100 percent,” sophomore forward Robbie Earl said. “Adam brings that extra intensity level that gets us to that level. That’s the biggest thing a captain can do.”

While Burish’s hard work has always been an example for the rest of the players on the team, what has really stood out to the coaching staff is the way he is developing into an all-around leader. Whether he needs to show a young player the proper way to run a drill in practice or settle the team down between periods of a big game, Burish has naturally adapted to the role.

“His first style, the one that comes more naturally to him, is [to lead] by example,” head coach Mike Eaves said. “But he’s also developed into a young man that sees situations and knows what’s important and what’s best for the team and is able to step up and do either a verbal or physical action to help our team.”

Even though Burish has developed as an off-ice leader, the example he sets on it has drawn rave reviews from his coaches as well.

“If the other guys aren’t working, all they have to do is look down at No. 16 and see him busting his fanny,” Eaves said. “That’s where he really leads by example. It’s one of his natural gifts.”

One of the biggest reasons Burish has developed such an intense work rate is because he knows what it’s like not to be able to play hockey at all. He missed 19 games his freshman season with a broken collarbone and the entirety of his first year in juniors with a broken wrist. The time on the sidelines helped make him the player he is today.

“I don’t think I would be here if I hadn’t got hurt because I learned so much not playing,” Burish said. “I learned my work ethic from having to work so hard to get back from my injuries.”

Not only has Burish’s hard work earned him the ‘C’ on his jersey, but it has earned him increased playing time as well.

After playing on a line that was more defense-minded last season, Burish has been moved up to one of the most explosive lines on the team alongside Robbie Earl and Joe Pavelski. While Earl and Pavelski are tied for the team lead with 11 points each, it is Burish who does much of the work in the corners, digging out the puck, and creating space for his linemates.

“I have to get in the corner and mix it up, get [my linemates] the puck and open up space for them,” Burish said.

Eaves saw what Burish could do physically and knew that he would be the perfect complement to the offense-minded Earl and Pavelski.

“He brings [Earl and Pavelski] balance,” Eaves said. “What [Burish] can bring to that line is something they don’t bring to that line naturally, is his raw physicalness.”

While Burish has been placed on the line to be the mucker of the group, it certainly doesn’t mean he can’t be an offensive threat. At Green Bay of the USHL, Burish led the team with 24 goals and was second in points with 57. While he contributed just six goals a year ago, Burish knows that he is capable of contributing a lot more this season, even though he has to stay true to what has gotten him to where he’s at.

“I’ve slowly incorporated more offensive ability into my game because I know I have that ability, but at the same time I can’t get away from the hard aspect of the game,” Burish said. “I like to think of myself as a guy that likes to get in there and bang, likes to mix it up in the corner and likes to get my nose dirty.”

While his linemates may score a number of “pretty” goals this season, Burish knows that most of his goals are going to come from his hard work, like the goal he scored against Denver this past weekend. After Earl was able to go end-to-end only to see his shot attempt saved, it was Burish who followed up the play, got in front of the net and was able to stuff the puck in the net.

“I like to go in there and smash a goal in like I did Friday night. A goal’s a goal,” Burish said. “If I have to kick it in or put it in with my head, I’m willing to do that.”

With that kind of attitude, Burish is turning into one of Wisconsin’s most effective power-forwards. As he develops, his line will only become more explosive as time goes on.

“Burish brings a lot of speed and grittiness to our line,” Earl said. “He’s just an all-around power-forward.”

What really makes Burish’s story great is that he has been able to do all of this for the team he grew up idolizing. As a Madison native, Burish has always been immersed in Wisconsin hockey. Now that he is getting the chance to play for the Badgers, he hasn’t lost sight of how incredible that is.

“I get the tingles every time I put the jersey on,” Burish said. “Before every game, I hold up my jersey and just think how special it is to be here at Wisconsin.”

From the way he has played and led this team, it’s not surprising that he is so passionate about Badger hockey. He’s getting a chance to live out his fantasy.

“I love this program more than anything,” Burish said. “I’m living a dream right now.”

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