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Prospect Update: Matt Berkovitz
By Thomas Harrington
Defenseman Matt Berkovitz played for the U.S. Military Academy this past season. It was his first season playing for them. Similar to fellow Anaheim prospect Garrett Metcalf, Berkovitz did not play during the 2017-2018 season.
Berkovitz was originally going to play for the University of Wisconsin. However, he decided to defer his time in the NCAA and spend another year in the USHL. However, as a result of transferring from Wisconsin to the U.S. Military Academy, he had to sit out the 2017-2018 season, so this past season was Berkovtiz’s first season playing NCAA hockey. He played in 39 games and scored one goal and 10 points. While those aren’t stellar numbers, for a player who sat out for a season and not known for his offensive game, that’s a pretty good first year of college hockey. Berkovitz was one of five players to appear in all 39 games for the U.S. Military Academy and he had two multi-assist games to end the season.
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This coming season, Berkovitz will return to the U.S. Military Academy. He’ll be a junior, but it will only be his second season of college hockey. I have a couple of expectations for him. First, to once again appear in every game this season. After sitting out an entire year, playing in every game last season was a great sign for him, but he needs to do it again. Second, for him to put up a few more points. The Ducks have a number of defensemen in their system with a similar skillset to Berkovitz. If he wants to stand out from other Anaheim prospects, he’s going to need to start putting up bigger numbers.
In terms of his NHL future, Berkovitz will likely top out as a bottom pairing defenseman, and maybe even become a team’s fourth defenseman. However, he’s still a ways away from getting to that point.
Berkovitz is currently unsigned and will remain that way until he turns pro. Anaheim will own Berkovitz’s rights until the summer of 2022. That August, if the Ducks don’t sign him, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. If he can develop over the next couple of seasons at the U.S. Military Academy, the Ducks could offer him an entry-level deal and bring him to San Diego. However, if he doesn’t, the Ducks will let him become a free agent and he can choose where to play after that.
The next prospect update will be on Jack Perbix.
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August 19th, 2019