Badger Hockey Recruit Review: Matt Berkovitz, Ashwaubenon High School

The "Badger Hockey Recruit Review" will run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next five weeks. We open the feature series with Ashwaubenon, Wis., defenseman Matt Berkovitz.

http://cdn3.sportngin.com/attachments/roster_player_info/2049/4656/DSC03337_medium.JPG
Class
Position
Hand
Height
Weight
2014 or 15
Defense
Left
6-1
175
Team
Hometown
DOB
Ashwaubenon (HS) / Team Wisconsin U16
Ashwaubenon, Wis.
2/6/1996

Statistics Verbal Commitment

The Badgers have had a lot of success with in-state defensemen in the past and are certainly hoping that continues with Ashwaubenon, Wis., native Matt Berkovitz. Berkovitz committed to Wisconsin after an unofficial campus visit in late September 2012.

Once head coach Mike Eaves exteded a scholarship offer, it wasn't a hard decision for Berkovitz, who also has been an elite performer in the Team Wisconsin midget program.

"I knew right away," Berkovitz told the Wisconsin State Journal. "I loved the campus. I loved the arena. I loved the students."

Berkovitz chose the Badgers over Michigan Tech, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Statistics Coach Comments

Rival high school coach Cory McCracken from Green Bay Notre Dame on Berkovitz:

"Matt has been a standout player on the Team Wisconsin U16 team this fall, getting ice time in all the critical situations," McCracken told Bucky's 5th Quarter earlier this year. "Certainly one of the elite U16 players in the country at his position.

"(Berkovitz) is a strong skater, thinks the game well, very good stick defensively with a good ability to recover. Very reliable defensively, manages his puck decisions well. Initiates offense with solid breakout/transition decisions. Quality young man, good character kid."

Team Wisconsin U16 coach, and former Badger John Parker on Berkovitz:

"He's a smooth-skating defenseman who's good with the puck, a good decision-maker and an excellent teammate," Parker told the Wisconsin State Journal. "He's got some great potential."

Statistics Scouting Report

The first thing that stands out when you watch Berkovitz is how fluid he is in everything he does on the ice. From his skating ability to the way he moves the puck, everything is smooth. Berkovitz has a solid frame and will have to get stronger before he comes to Madison, but he's looking like a really nice pickup for the Badgers.

U.S. Hockey Report's scouting report on Berkovitz from the Bauer Invitational in Chicago (November 2012):

"The University of Wisconsin recruit has seen his stock rise significantly over the last couple of months. For a 6'2" kid his skating is effortless and his stride is executed with perfect form. Berkovitz is someone we think the NTDP will consider adding at certain points this season -- and potentially on a full-time basis next year. If he continues to develop at his current rate there is a good chance he will be drafted in the upper rounds of the 2014 NHL draft. A good in-state get for the Badgers."

Statistics Statistics

2012-13 (Ashwaubenon, HS): 23 games, 11 goals, 14 assists, 25 points, 14 PIM, +8

2012-13 (Team Wisconsin U16): 5 goals, 29 assists, 34 points, 14 PIM

2011-12 (Ashwaubenon, HS): 24 games, 11 goals, 14 assists, 25 points, 6 PIM

2010-11 (Ashwaubenon, HS): 26 games, 9 goals, 24 assists, 34 points, 10 PIM

Honors Honors

-- Selected by the Chicago Steel in the 4th round of the USHL Draft (May, 2013)

-- Invited to the USA Hockey Select 17 Festival in Rochester, N.Y. (May, 2013)

-- Fox River Classic All-Conference First-Team (March, 2013)

-- WHCA Wisconsin All-State Honorable Mention (2013)

-- WHCA Wisconsin All-State Honorable Mention (2012)

Press Clippings Recent Press

Bucky's 5th Quarter: Berkovitz is a Badger (October, 2012)

Wisconsin State Journal: Ashwaubenon's Matt Berkovitz commits (October, 2012)

Multimedia Twitter

@MattBendovitz

More Info Additional Info

Berkovitz was recently selected in the USHL Draft by the Chicago Steel in the fourth round, No. 46 overall. Berkovitz told me recently that he hasn't made up his mind yet about where he will play next season. It's likely he won't make a decision until after Chicago's main camp, which runs June 18-21.

Berkovitz is committed to Wisconsin for either 2014 or 2015, but I think it would be best for his development to spend a full season in the USHL after graduation and then come to Madison for the fall of 2015. That said, with the way Berkovitz has been progressing, it wouldn't be entirely surprising to see him in a Badger uniform in 2014, especially if Jake McCabe turns pro after his junior season.

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

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