Badger Hockey Recruit Review: Keegan Ford, Dubuque Fighting Saints

Serena Dalhamer-Top Shelf Shots

The Badger Hockey Recruit Review will run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next five weeks. Today, we feature Keegan Ford, a defenseman with the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints.

Player Photo
Class
Position
Hand
Height
Weight
2014 or '15
Defense
Left
5-8
175
Team
Hometown
DOB
Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
Waunakee, Wis.
5/30/1996

Statistics Verbal Commitment

The class of 1996-born defensemen from the state of Wisconsin is incredibly deep, but there was one target the UW coaches have been familiar with for years. Keegan Ford, the son of former Badger, Pat, committed to the program in September 2012.

Pat Ford played for Wisconsin from 1984-88, including two seasons as a teammate with current UW assistant coach Gary Shuchuk. Pat also coached the Badgers as an assistant under Jeff Sauer from 1994-2002.

Keegan Ford told Bucky's 5th Quarter that he heard from upwards of 15 schools during the recruiting process. He eventually narrowed it down to three, touring Ohio State and North Dakota in addition to Wisconsin. In the end, his allegiance to the Badgers was too strong to ignore.

"In the end I chose Wisconsin because It's where I've wanted to go ever since my dad was coaching," Ford told B5Q after his commitment. "I think I can develop my hockey skills with a great coaching staff and outstanding facilities.

"It's a great honor to say I'm going to a school where my dad played, and I grew up watching him coach."

Statistics Coach Comments

Dubuque Fighting Saints Head Coach Jim Montgomery on Keegan Ford:
(Note: Montgomery has recently been hired as the new head coach at the University of Denver)

"Keegan is an extremely intelligent hockey player," Montgomery told Bucky's 5th Quarter in February. "(Ford) really competes hard and has great instincts. He knows where to be on the ice and knows when to be there. He can score, he can pass, he can defend and he can do it all.

"We're really happy with the way he's progressed."

Statistics Scouting Report

U.S. Hockey Report on Keegan Ford:
(Note: USHR ranked Ford as the No. 5 defenseman at the USA Hockey Select 16 festival in July 2012)

"Listed at 5'9", which could be a generous. Small, dynamic defender who is excellent with the puck and will be an impact defender at the D1 level. Very similar to Denver's WCHA Rookie of the Year Joey LaLeggia. Is strong on his feet and skates well enough to defend against bigger forwards. Will play for Dubuque (USHL) this season and it would not surprise us one bit if he ran their PP. Played for Waunakee HS in Wisconsin last year and put up a 34-40-74 scoring line in just 27 games played-eye popping numbers for a defenseman at any level. Earned a spot on the Five Nations team. Is the son of former Wisco centerman ('84-88) and college coach Pat Ford."

B5Q hockey editor Andy Johnson on Ford (May 2012):

"Don't let his size (5-foot-9, 177-pounds) fool you, Ford is a future D1 hockey player. Dubuque of the USHL used a tender on him and I can see why. He's only 5-foot-9, but he's got a thick lower half and isn't afraid to hit. He's always positionally aware and you can tell he really thinks the game. Advanced."

Statistics Statistics

2012-13 Dubuque (USHL): 51 games, 4 goals, 13 assists, 17 points, +22, 94 PIM

2011-12 Waunakee (high school): 27 games, 33 goals, 41 assists, 74 points, 58 PIM

Honors Honors

-- Named to the United States U17 team for the Five Nations tournament (2012)

-- Selected for the USA Hockey Select 16 Festival (2012)

-- Tendered by the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

-- Named to the WHCA All-State First Team as a high school sophomore (2012)

-- Named WHCA All-Sate honorable mention as a high school freshman (2011)

Press Clippings Recent Press

B5Q: Future Badger Keegan Ford suspended for part in USHL line brawl

B5Q: Eaves lands in-state defenseman Keegan Ford

Wisconsin State Journal: Waunakee's Keegan Ford follows in father's skate-tracks

Multimedia Audio / Video

Multimedia Twitter

@Keegs_7

More Info Additional Info

Ford has always been considered an elite player for his age group, but his stock really took off last summer when he was named to Team USA for the U17 Five Nations tournament over the summer in the Czech Republic. Ford played well enough during that tournament and in USHL play in the first half of the season to be given another shot to represent his country.

Typically during international tournaments at the U17 level during the season, USA Hockey sends a team full of players from the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. Looking for some outside help for the U17 Five Nations Tournament set to take place in Jarvenpaa, Finland, USA Hockey hand-picked Ford and fellow Wisconsin recruit Seamus Malone for the squad.

Unfortunately, a late rash of injuries to a number of Dubuque defensemen left the Fighting Saints short-handed on the back end. After initially approving the transfer of Ford to Team USA for the tournament, Dubuque head coach Jim Montgomery had to decline.

Regardless, Ford is looking like another solid pickup for the Wisconsin coaching staff and will likely be ready to step into the Badgers' lineup in the fall of 2014.

For more hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter --
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)

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