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Badgers land U.S. NTDP U-18 defenseman Jack Dougherty

Wisconsin swoops in and nabs former Ohio State commit Jack Dougherty, who decommitted after Mark Osiecki was fired after last season.

Ohio State's loss is Wisconsin's gain. Previously committed to the Buckeyes, U.S. NTDP defenseman Jack Dougherty decommitted from OSU in June after head coach Mark Osiecki was fired. The Badgers swooped in on the Cottage Grove, Minn., native, and Dougherty announced his decision to become a Badger Thursday evening.

According to Over The Boards, Dougherty chose the Badgers over Minnesota, Michigan, Boston College and Boston University.

Dougherty will come to Madison next fall. The Badgers also have verbal commitments from defensemen Keegan Ford (Dubuque, USHL), Jake Linhart (Green Bay, USHL), Peter Tischke (Chicago, USHL) and Matt Berkovitz (Ashwaubenon HS). The most likely scenario has Dougherty, Ford, Linhart and Tischke on campus next fall, with Berkovitz spending a season in the USHL with the Chicago Steel.

Dougherty saw his stock rise in the summer of 2012, when he excelled at the USA Hockey Select 16 festival in New York. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman was named to Team USA for the Five Nations tournament in the Czech Republic. After a repeat performance this past summer at the Select 17 festival, Dougherty was named to the U.S. squad for the Ivan Hlinka U-18 tournament.

As a junior last season at St. Thomas Academy in the Twin Cities, Dougherty racked up 35 points in 31 games, while helping lead the Cadets to their third straight Minnesota Class A state championship.

A right-handed shot, Dougherty has two assists in five games so far this season with the U.S. U-18 squad.

When asked to describe his game by the The Hockey News, Dougherty said he considers himself an intelligent defenseman.

"I'd say I'm pretty smart, know my position, play defense pretty well," Dougherty said. "I like to play physical, get into guys' heads. I think I'm an OK skater...I get by."

Dougherty was recently featured at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Top Prospects game in Pittsburgh where he drew rave reviews and scored a goal on a beautiful wrist shot.

Ranked by NHL Central Scouting as a "B" prospect, there are many scouts who think Dougherty could sneak into the end of the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft. International Scouting Services ranked Dougherty No. 30 in the world in its September update.

With the graduating losses of seniors Frankie Simonelli and Joe Faust, as well as the anticipated early departure of Jake McCabe, Dougherty should step right into the Badgers' lineup as a freshman next season.

Committed Wisconsin Recruits - Skaters

Player Pos Team Arrival Size Games G A Pts
Matt Berkovitz D Ashwaubenon HS 2014 or '15 6-1, 175

Team Wisconsin U18

15 3 8 11
Brock Boeser F Burnsville HS 2015 or '16 6-0, 188

Team SE (HS Elite League)

6 5 0 0
Jack Dougherty
D U.S. NTDP U-18 2014 6-2, 185
5 0 2 2
Keegan Ford D Dubuque (USHL) 2014 5-8, 180 2 0 2 2
Matthew Freytag F Wayzata HS 2015 or '16 5-11, 180

Team NW (HS Elite League)

6 2 0 2
Luke Kunin F U.S. NTDP U-17 2016 5-10, 173 6 5 1
Jake Linhart D Green Bay (USHL) 2014 5-10, 176 4 0 2 2
Seamus Malone F Dubuque (USHL) 2015 5-10, 165 2 1 1 2
Tony Stillwell D Notre Dame Academy 2016

Team Wisconsin U-16
5-7, 145 13 1 9 10
Peter Tischke D Chicago (USHL) 2014 6-1, 193 4 0 0 0
Ryan Wagner F U.S. NTDP U-18 2014 5-8, 173 5 1 1 2

Committed Wisconsin Recruits - Goaltenders

Player Team Arrival Size Games Record Sv % GAA
Gabe Grunwald New York (EHL) 2014 6-3, 195 3 1-1-1 .932 2.59
Luke Opilka U.S. NTDP U-17 2015 6-0, 181 5 3-1-1 .872 3.22

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