By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
During his 4 years at the University of Wisconsin, forward Matthew Ford was used in a defensive capacity and tallied just 39 points.
My, how times have changed.
The 24-year-old rookie is off to a torrid start with the Charlotte Checkers, as he ranks second among ECHL first-year players with 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists) in just 4 games.
That’s right — 4 games into his professional career, Ford has racked up nearly one-fifth of his total collegiate output.
“It’s just getting a fresh start and a change of scenery,” Ford told NHL.com. “I kind of got into a role there. I had some great coaching, but I kind of had a different role when I was playing at Wisconsin. The opportunity presented itself here and I have the chance to play a different style.”
Ford’s knack for the net has paid huge dividends for the Checkers, who started the 2008-09 season by playing their first 6 games on the road — and won 4 of them.
“He’s off to a tremendous start,” Checkers coach Derek Wilkinson said. “He’s a fantastic kid. He’s a real hard worker who came from some great programs. He’s obviously has been well coached. He seems to know the game well, and he’s also incredibly competitive.”