|Born:||Nov 26, 1982||Draft:||2002 Sabres, 11th Overall|
|Known For:||WC Bronze Medal (2004)||Shoots:||Left|
|National Team:||United States||Current Status:||Retired|
Keith Ballard (born November 26, 1982) is a retired American ice hockey player, having played his final year in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild during the 2014-15 season. Drafted 11th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Ballard was traded twice before he made his NHL debut, once to the Colorado Avalanche and then to the Phoenix Coyotes. Ballard made his debut with the Coyotes during the 2005-06 season, playing in all 82 games and amassing 39 points (8 goals, 31 assists). His point totals would trend downwards the following two seasons, subsequently putting an end to his tenure in Phoenix as Ballard would sign with the Florida Panthers.
Plagued by injuries, Ballard spent two seasons with the Panthers, three seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, and two seasons with the Wild before announcing his retirement at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. By then, Ballard had been reduced to a third-pairing defenseman who spent more time on the injury reserve or as a healthy scratch then he did playing. Ballard shifted gears, pursuing a degree in sports science at the University of Minnesota.
Internationally, Ballard represented the United States on six occasions, including the IIHF U18 World Championship (2000), IIHF World Junior Championship (2002), and Ice Hockey World Championships (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009). Ballard won a bronze medal with the 2004 team, playing in 8 games and scoring one goal.
Keith Ballard Statistics
- Keith Ballard: Examining life as a $4.2 million healthy scratch
- The Strange Case of Keith Ballard
- Keith Ballard, Jordan Leopold Leaning Toward Retirement
- USHL Clark Cup Champion (2001)
- USHL First All-Star Team (2001)
- 2x NCAA (Championship) Winner (2002, 2003)
- NCAA (WCHA) All-Rookie Team (2002)
- NCAA (WCHA) All-Academic Team (2003)
- 2x NCAA (WCHA) Champion (2003, 2004)
- 2x NCAA (WCHA) First All-Star Team (2003, 2004)
- NCAA (West) First All-American Team (2004)
- NCAA Top Collegiate Player (Hobey Baker Award) Finalist (2004)
- World Championship Bronze Medal (2004)
- AHL All-Star Game (2005)