Nic Kerdiles THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: January 11, 1994
Place of birth: Irvine, California
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 196 lbs
Draft eligibility: 2012
The 2012 draft class has been hit by the injury bug harder than any other draft in recent memory. Top prospects like Alex Galchenyuk, Morgan Rielly, Slate Koekkoek, and Olli Maatta (including many more) seem to have had their seasons cut short. Nic Kerdiles is no exception, however despite the unfortunate injuries, scouts have seen enough of his game to continually rank him in the top 30 prospects from month to month. ISS has failed to omit his name from it’s Top 30 since the beginning of August.
Kerdiles’ game revolves around his physical play, positioning, shot, and – most recently – his defensive awareness. This season has been a turning point in Kerdiles’ overall game where he has begun to work on his defensive positioning, play, along with being effective on both sides of the puck.
He was part of the talented U-18 team that won the World Championship last year against Sweden. He has the experience and knows what it takes to achieve success in international competition and would like nothing more than to skate around the rink in the Czech Republic dawning a 2nd gold medal. The problem is, he needs to do it with a brand new team.
The USNTDP started the season out pretty well in international play by winning the Four Nations Cup in Switzerland. A few months later, Team USA finished (a disappointing) 3rd place in the Five Nations Tournament after back-to-back losses to Sweden and Finland. They have been through ebbs and flows of a hectic season thus far, but will continue to push for a four-peat in the World Championships next month. One of the main focal points will be Nic Kerdiles. It will give him a chance to show that injuries have not affected his game in the slightest and further push his draft stock into the top-20 contention.
“Kerdiles continues to develop steadily into a productive offensive player. He has the necessary skating, shooting and puck skills to compete at the highest level. Kerdiles also does the little things well such as protecting the puck in traffic and possessing a nose for the net. Kerdiles will contribute defensively as he has the awareness to keep on the defensive side of the puck and maintains discipline and positioning in the defensive zone and on the forecheck. A strong U18 Championship could make Kerdiles this year’s JT Miller.” – The Scouting Report
“Nic has had a great first half of his second year with the NTDP. His game has become faster and stronger and he is becoming a ‘200 foot player’ that can dominate both ends of the ice. He scores goals in the dirty areas and uses his speed well to separate himself from defenders on offense and close on defense. It has been fun to see him excel in NCAA DI games and it shows that he will not miss a beat when he moves on to the University of Wisconsin.” – Head Coach, Danton Cole
“Kerdiles, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, is judged to have the whole package in terms of skills and intangibles. He has an excellent shot from the perimeter, but is more than willing to venture into the messy areas of the ice. He skates and passes well while bringing an edgy attitude. He blocks shots, is adept at faceoffs and is a conscientious defender.” Andy Baggot, Wisconsin State Journal
- My interview with Kerdiles
- Dan Sallows interview
- College Hockey Perspective interview
- Interview with USA Hockey
Between his time with the U-17 team and the U-18 team, Kerdiles has contributed on the point sheet. In 11 international games he currently has six points – all assists.
ETA = 3-4 years
Risk: 0/10 Reward: 7/10
Top-6 forward capable of contributing on the point sheet or playing an overall defensive game
- Play along the boards
Flaws/Aspects He Needs to Work On:
- Puck protection
- Speed (key at the NHL level)
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
- John LeClair
Off the Iron (Interesting Notes):
- For part of his life, Kerdiles was raised in France. He is fluent in the French language.
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THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph