As expected, Anaheim Ducks’ prospect Nicolas Kerdiles was one of the 26-players named to the preliminary roster for Team USA’s World Junior team. Kerdiles was the Ducks’ second round pick of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Currently in his sophomore season at Wisconsin, Kerdiles is second on the team in points (10) and goals (5) and is currently on a point-per-game pace.
After moving to center for his sophomore season, Kerdiles has begun to round out his game, but it’s his offensive skillset that Team USA will likely look to get out of him
“Perhaps Kerdiles would have been on last year’s team had he not had to miss the first 10 games of Wisconsin’s season. There are no issues this time and Kerdiles should be a lock to make the team. He is playing center for Wisconsin this season, but I see him as a point-producing winger for Team USA this year. He has 10 points in 10 games and was Wisconsin’s best player when he returned to action last season. He should play on one of the top two lines and be looked to for considerable production. Kerdiles is a strong skater with really good finish around the net. He’s not a make-you-miss kind of guy with his puck skills, but he is strong on the puck and has good vision. Kerdiles also has some good defensive capabilities if needed.”
So while his versatility is something that certainly makes him stick out of the crowd, scoring is what his country is going to need from him this tournament.
Being a Ducks’ prospect, he will have big shoes to fill after last year’s performance of John Gibson – a fellow Duck farm mate, who stole the show last year.
Playing in the WJC certainly doesn’t guarantee success at the next level, but it is recognition that the player is progressing at a rate that you might think he could succeed at the next level.
Kerdiles and his fellow potential Team USA teammates will participate in a pre-tournament training camp before selecting the final 23-man roster for the tournament that will take place in Malmo, Sweden.
Anthony Murphy is the Editor at Pucks Of A Feather. You can reach him by email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.