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Player Spotlight: Dylan Byrne & Nick Madsen, Eau Claire Memorial’s Dynamic Duo

By Matt Carey, Contributor, 02/01/24, 10:30AM CST


Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Matt Carey and do not reflect the opinions of Wisconsin Prep Hockey or its partners.

Interpersonal synchronization describes when two people intuitively know each other’s next move. It is when two people are on the same wavelength. In the NHL, Colorado Avalanche’s dynamic D pair Cale Makar and Devon Toews have been described this way.

At Eau Claire Memorial senior Dylan Byrne and junior Nick Madsen are two dynamic D with interpersonal synchronization. As the Old Abes team captains, Dylan and Nick are on the same wavelength. They have played together almost every season since they were 5 years old.

This is the third season Dylan and Nick have played for Eau Claire Memorial and Team Wisconsin. Last season they led Eau Claire Memorial in points, and both were named Big Rivers All Conference and WHCA All State.

In spring, 2023 Dylan was drafted in the NCDC by the South Shore Kings. In fall, 2023 Nick was tendered by Fairbanks of the NAHL. Nick then played a couple of games for Fairbanks vs. Minnesota Wilderness in Cloquet, MN. Nick shared, “I played a lot of minutes in those games and definitely felt at home playing at that level.”

"Dylan and Nick are the backbone of the team. Both have tremendous passion for the game and leading this team. They show up every day to get better and help their teammates improve. The entire team contributes to our success, but we rely heavily on these two kids to produce offensively and shut teams down defensively. They are good kids that play the game the right way. It has been a pleasure coaching them." Mike Collins, head coach, Eau Claire Memorial.

"Coaching Dylan and Nick is a coach’s dream. We could match them up against the other team’s best players. They are great on special teams. They handle the puck well and have good shots which makes them effective on the power play. Nick was the first 10th grade D to represent Wisconsin in the NIT and he ended up leading our D in points!" Cal Roadhouse, head coach, Team Wisconsin HP-18.

Having an elite defenseman is a luxury for a typical high school team. Having two elite D on the same high school team is a divine gift. Let’s get to know Dylan and Nick!

When did you start playing hockey?

Byrne: 5 years old.
Madsen: About 3 or 4 years old.

Where did you play youth hockey?

Byrne: Eau Claire, but I played three seasons for Green Bay Jr. Gamblers.
Madsen: All Eau Claire except second year bantam with Green Bay Jr. Gamblers.

You represented Wisconsin by playing on the HP 18 team in the April 2023 Minnesota HP NIT Tournament…how was that experience?

Byrne: Really cool! It was cool to meet players from other schools.
Madsen: It was great! I played with lots of Team Wisconsin friends, and it was fun to meet players from around the state. It was good competition, and we did well.

How many years have you played on the same team?

Byrne & Madsen: Since age 5 or 6 all but a couple seasons.

Did anyone in your family play hockey?

Byrne: My Dad played college hockey in Toronto, and my brother played juniors.
Madsen: My brother is a goalie for EC Memorial. My Dad played youth hockey.

What is your favorite hockey memory?

Byrne: Sophomore season in Green Bay winning the tournament.
Madsen: Minnesota Blades. We won back-to-back championships.

What is your pregame ritual?

Byrne: Play a soccer ball game to loosen up. I am not overly superstitious.
Madsen: Take a nap, small bite to eat and get to rink.

What hockey skill do you have that separates you from the competition?

Byrne: Playmaker. Good at passing and shooting.
Madsen: Hockey IQ.

Is there an NHL player you model your game after?

Byrne: Cale Makar because of his offensive ability and creativity.
Madsen: Duncan Keith.

Who is the most influential person in your life?

Byrne: My Dad. After a tough game he is always in my corner.
Madsen: My Dad.

What is the plan for hockey after HS?

Byrne: I may play in Saskatchewan (juniors) and someday college hockey.
Madsen: Play for Fairbanks (NAHL) next season.

What do you want to do for a career?

Byrne: I am taking AP Psych. Being a Sport Psychologist would be cool.
Madsen: I plan to study finance and business, but I am not sure what job.

Do you play any other sports?

Byrne: I love to play golf.
Madsen: Golf and wakeboarding. I played baseball, soccer, football when younger.

What do you enjoy doing in addition to sports?

Byrne: I like to do stuff on the water at the cabin on the lake.
Madsen: Fishing. I love going to my grandparents’ cabin on Lake Holcombe.

What is your favorite food?

Byrne: Lasagna.
Madsen: Mexican food and pasta.

What is your favorite music group or type of music?

Byrne: Country music. Morgan Wallen and Jason Aldean.
Madsen: Country. Florida Georgia Line.

Where is your dream vacation?

Byrne: Costa Rica.
Madsen: Hawaii.

Chocolate cake, brownie, or apple pie?

Byrne: Chocolate cake.
Madsen: Brownie.

Pickup truck or sports car?

Byrne: Sports car. Ferrari.
Madsen: Sports car. McLaren.

Final thoughts?

Byrne: I want to thank all the Memorial coaches, including trainers and manager.
Madsen: Thank you to my family for all the support. I also want to thank all my current and past coaches.


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