Ballard, 24, registered 5-22-27 and 59 penalty minutes (PIM) in 69 games this season - his second NHL campaign with the Coyotes. He ranked 2nd on the Coyotes in both hits (130) and blocked shots (135). The native of Baudette, Minnesota also finished 3rd on the team in time on ice per game (21:59). Ballard received the Coyotes' Hardest Working Player Award for the second consecutive season as voted upon by fans through www.PhoenixCoyotes.com.
The upcoming tournament will mark the second time the 5-foot-11, 208-pound Ballard has represented the U.S. at the IIHF World Championship. The defenseman helped lead Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2004 IIHF World Championship. He scored one goal in eight games and was the only NCAA player on the squad following his final season at the University of Minnesota.
The Coyotes acquired Ballard from Colorado with Derek Morris for Chris Gratton, Ossi Vaananen and a 2nd round choice in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft on Mar. 9, 2004.