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Ducks Draft Pick Berkovitz Soaking up the Sights and Sounds

Thursday, 07.3.2014 / 12:31 PM PT / News
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Ducks Draft Pick Berkovitz Soaking up the Sights and Sounds
"I'm looking to develop my skills and take things that I need to work on back home."
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

Five days ago, Wisconsin native Matthew Berkovitz sat with friends and family inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for the 2014 NHL Draft. The 18-year-old from Green Bay was ranked No. 61 among North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Service, and he was coming off a season where he represented Team Wisconsin of the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League, collecting 13 points (3g/10a) in 21 games.

After the third and fourth rounds had come and gone, Berkovitz waited patiently – and anxiously – for his name to be called. With his family by his side, Berkovitz’s life changed forever when the Ducks selected him with the 123rd pick in the fifth round, a moment he says he’ll never forget.

“I was just really happy,” Berkovitz said during a break in the Ducks’ prospect camp at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE. “I hugged my family and just headed down there. I was just too awestruck to start thinking about things.”

He made his way to the draft floor where he met with the Ducks brass. There, he received his jersey and hat and was escorted into one of the arena’s various locker rooms for portrait shots.

It was a lot to digest for an 18-year-old straight out of high school, but Berkovitz enjoyed every bit of it. He really had no choice but to savor the moment, because he went straight home to Wisconsin for just enough time to pack his bags and make his way out West.

“I went home for a day, and then I was already flying back out here,” he said. “Everything happened pretty quick.”

Berkovitz is a first-timer to the sunny skies and beaches of Southern California. “I love it here,” he said. “We’ve had a few drives around the area, and I absolutely love the weather. I love everything about Orange County.”

Berkovitz is committed to attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 2014, and for those who aren’t familiar with his style of play, he says he’s a “reliable two-way, puck-moving defenseman who likes to create offense on the rush.”

Berkovitz was the lone defenseman out of eight finalists for the 2013-14 Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association Player of the Year Award after scoring 37 points (11g/26a) with a +16 rating in 24 games with the Ashwaubenon Jaguars. He helped the team to the Section 5 championship game with a team-best four points (all assists) in three playoff games.

Martin Madden, Anaheim’s Director of Amateur Scouting, says Berkovitz’ selection was the result of two of his staffers. “He happened to be a pick two of our staff members had real passion for,” Madden said. “I would’ve liked a forward there, but two of our staff members were really passionate about this kid and his long-term potential. We think he’s going to a good school. They develop really good defensemen.”

Berkovitz says he’s looking to make the most out of this week-long camp before heading back to Green Bay for the rest of the summer. “I’m looking to develop my skills and take things that I need to work on back home, and work on them there. Hopefully I can get better and keep coming back. I hope to produce for them in a few years.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 51 25 19 7 113 121 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Perry 51 21 15 -4 36
R. Getzlaf 47 5 31 7 36
R. Rakell 48 11 15 -3 26
R. Kesler 51 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 51 6 18 -2 24
J. Silfverberg 51 6 11 -3 17
C. Stewart 45 7 9 1 16
A. Cogliano 51 5 11 -10 16
H. Lindholm 50 6 8 -5 14
C. Fowler 38 3 9 -11 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 10 8 5 .918 2.33
J. Gibson 12 8 2 .917 2.13

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