|Keith Ballard will be playing for the United States at the World Championships for the second straight season. (Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL – USA Hockey today announced that Florida Panthers D Keith Ballard has been named to the 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team that will participate in the upcoming IIHF Men’s World Championship, April 24-May 10, in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland.
The Baudette, Minnesota native was one of two players to play in all 82 games with Florida this season, while pacing the team with 172 hits and ranking first among Florida defensemen with 28 assists. For his career in the National Hockey League, he has played in 315 games with Florida (2008-09) and Phoenix (2005-07) scoring 25 goals with 96 assists and 315 PIM.
Ballard won back-to-back National Championships with the University of Minnesota in 2002 & 2003. He was also a finalist for the 2004 Hobey Baker Memorial Award during his final season at the University of Minnesota.
Florida acquired Ballard on June 19, 2008 along with D Nick Boynton and a second round draft pick from Phoenix in exchange for C Olli Jokinen. The Panthers signed Balllard to a six-year contract extension on Sept. 9, 2008.
Ballard was Buffalo’s first pick (11th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
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