The Capital Times' Todd Milewski is reporting that Wisconsin freshman defenseman Nigel Williams has left Wisconsin to play in the OHL for the Saginaw Spirit. Apparently he really likes the Colbert Report.
Williams had only played in one of Wisconsin's first 10 games, and wasn't traveling with the team. It seems like a pretty clear cut case of a kid not being happy with his playing time and wanting to make a move.
I think it's now officially safe to say that the decision to bring Williams to Wisconsin as a 2006 recruit was a mistake. Williams has outstanding physical talent, but was just a little too raw for NCAA hockey. Wisconsin's coaches thought a year with the NTDP last season would be enough seasoning, but that ended up not being the case.
The real shame in this is that I'm not sure that this was the best career move for Williams. He's already been drafted, so it's not like his draft stock is going to drop by not playing, and I think he's at least a couple years away from being ready to play at the pro level. Playing all those games won't necessarily be terrible for him, but I think he would really benefit from spending more time in practice and learning the game a little better, which he would have got at Wisconsin. Regardless, he's a talented kid and I wish him the best.