Keith Ballard facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsKeith Ballard
Ballard with the Vancouver Canucks
November 26, 1982 |
Baudette, Minnesota, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||208 lb (94 kg; 14 st 12 lb)|
|Played for||Phoenix Coyotes
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||11th overall, 2002
Keith Galen Ballard (born November 26, 1982) is an American former professional ice hockey defenseman who previously played in the National Hockey League with the Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild. He played college hockey for the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) for three seasons.
After his freshman year, he was selected 11th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Before he made his NHL debut, he was traded twice – initially to the Colorado Avalanche, then to the Phoenix Coyotes. He played his professional rookie season in 2004–05 with the Coyotes' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Utah Grizzlies, then debuted with Phoenix the following season. After three years, he was traded to the Florida Panthers, where he spent two seasons before being dealt to Vancouver at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Internationally, Ballard has represented the United States in four World Championships, winning bronze in 2004. He has also played in two junior tournaments – the 2000 IIHF World U18 Championships and 2002 World Junior Championships.
Ballard was born in Baudette, Minnesota. He has a sister. His family runs a fishing resort at Lake of the Woods in Minnesota, founded by Ballard's grandparents in 1961. Ballard and his wife have three children.
Ballard left home following his sophomore year of high school to pursue his hockey career with the U.S. National Development Team in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During his time with the Omaha Lancers, he graduated from Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He was a multi-sport athlete during high school, having earned an All-Conference selection as a fullback and linebacker playing football and finishing as Conference championship runner-up as a golfer.
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