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Wisconsin hockey: Meet freshman defenseman Jack Dougherty

After initially committing to Ohio State, Jack Dougherty picked the Badgers over Minnesota, Michigan, Boston College and Boston University.

Jeff Vinnick - Getty Images

NHL Draft





2nd Round, Nashville





Previous Team



U.S. NTDP U-18

Cottage Grove, Minn.


We kick off coverage of the 2014-15 Wisconsin freshman class with one of the headliners, defenseman Jack Dougherty from the United States National Team Development Program.

Originally committed to Ohio State, Dougherty later changed his mind and decided Madison was where he wanted to play his college hockey.

A two-way defenseman with offensive upside, Dougherty is expected to step into major minutes as a freshman with the Badgers. The Nashville Predators liked Dougherty's game so much, they selected the Minnesota native in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft this past summer.

Statistics Verbal Commitment

Dougherty committed to Ohio State when he was still at St. Thomas Academy, but changed his mind after head coach Mark Osiecki was fired in Columbus. Dougherty instantly became one of the most highly sought after recruits in the nation last season, and chose the Badgers over Minnesota, Michigan, Boston College and Boston University.

Statistics Coach Comments

"Jack has a really good skill set as a defenseman. He can be your quarterback on the power play and he can lead the rush. He's a good skater who sees the ice well and has good skill. He also understands how to play without the puck, so he is a well-rounded defenseman." -- Mike Eaves

Statistics Scouting Report

"There is nothing that stands out about Jack but his play lends itself to very good, consistent and solid play. He just does what needs to be done both offensively and defensively without much fanfare." -- Craig Button, TSN

"Dougherty had a pretty solid first season with the NTDP, entering the program after playing high school hockey. He is a pretty toolsy defender, who stands out offensively. His skating ranges from good to excellent. He moves well in all directions, with nice explosiveness in his first step and overall refined footwork and skating technique. Dougherty is dangerous with the puck as a rusher and distributor. He's got some creativity with the puck in his game and can beat checkers one-on-one. Dougherty is an average-sized player (6-2, 185 pounds), but has some bite to his game. Where he struggles is with his decisions and reads. Dougherty will get beat a little too often, and also give the puck away more than he should. He needs to manage his risk better and pick his spots on when to attack. He is committed to the University of Wisconsin for the 2014-15 season." -- Corey Pronman, ESPN

More Info Season Projection

The right-handed Dougherty is starting the season on the Badgers' top defensive pair alongside Kevin Schulze. Given the fact Schulze and returning defensemen Eddie Wittchow and Chase Drake are all left handed, it's not a surprise that Dougherty is at the top of the depth chart on the right side. Expect Dougherty to also see time on special teams this season.

Statistics 2013-14 Statistics

Goals: 7

Assists: 14

Points: 21

Penalty Minutes: 65

Plus/Minus: +33

Honors Honors

-Participated in the 2014 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, and survived cuts to make final 27. The camp is precursor to selection for the U.S. National Junior Team for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

-Took part in the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Pittsburgh.

-Named to the U.S. U18 Select Team roster for the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

-Named 2013 Minnesota All-State and all-conference at St. Thomas Academy.

Press Clippings Recent Press

On The Forecheck: Nashville Predators Top 25 Under 25

The Hockey Writers: Top 10 NCAA College Hockey Freshmen

The Hockey News: Top 50 NCAA players you need to know this season

Multimedia Twitter

@jackdougherty2 Video

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