NHL Draft Prospect Profile #41: Nicolas Kerdiles » Last Word On Sports

NHL Draft Prospect Profile #41: Nicolas Kerdiles

May 17 2012

Drafted 36th overall by the Anaheim Ducks.

We can debate the success of the NHL’s expansion to the southern United States in many ways, and it has been done many times.  However when we see a prospect come along like Nicolas Kerdiles who grew up playing hockey in California and Texas; there is no doubt that the game has made at least some impact in the south.  In 2010 Kerdiles joined the United States National Team Development Program in Ann Arbour, Michigan and immediately proved to be one of the most talented forwards on the team.  Kerdiles was on the Under 17 team but was called up to play for the Under 18 team in the 2011 IIHF Under 18 World Championships where he won a gold medal.  Kerdiles would join teammates Jacob Trouba, and Brady Skjei, in helping the United States to another gold medal in the 2012 tournament.  Kerdiles led the U.S. team in scoring and was especially impressive in the Gold Medal Final vs Sweden where he had a 5 point night. Kerdiles is committed to the University of Wisconsin.

Centre/Left Wing
Born Jan 11 1994 — Irvine, CA
Height 6.01 — Weight 183 — Shoots Left

2010-11 U.S. National Development Team USHL 32 12 8 20 52 -2
2011-12 U.S. National Development Team USHL 18 4 9 13 18 -5

Kerdiles is a talented offensive player.  He is an incredibly smart player and has a very high hockey IQ.  Kerdiles is great at working down low, and playing the cycle game.  He makes great tape to tape passes and has very good vision.  Kerdiles also has a real knack for finding open space from where he can unleash an extremely accurate shot.  He’s got soft hands in close which he uses to score goals from tip ins and rebounds. He’s a versatile forward who has been used both at Centre and on the Wing.

A natural leader, Kerdiles possesses an insatiable work ethic.  He is an effective forechecker chasing down opposing defenders and getting on the puck.  He’s also extremely gritty, winning a ton of board battles and he takes a ton of punishment in front of the opponents net.  He’s a fearless player, committed to winning, and is willing to take a hit to make a play.  Kerdiles is also known to look for the big hit if it is available.  Its not something that he’ll do recklessly or get himself out of position to do, but if an opponent makes a mistake, Kerdiles can lower the boom on him.

Kerdiles is also good in his own zone.  He is an active and committed back checker.  His hockey IQ translates into the defensive zone, as he is excellent positionally and anticipates plays well.  He is very good at cutting down passing lanes, and has an uncanny ability to strip opponents of the puck.  Kerdiles is very much a complete player, capable of playing in any situation.

One area of his game that could stand to be improved is Kerdiles’ skating.  He does have solid balance and is strong on the puck, and difficult to knock off of it.  However he could work on his top end speed, his first step and his acceleration.  While we wouldn’t say that Kerdiles is slow, he is merely average in these aspects.  His great work ethic and smart play helps him to cover up his average skating, however if he can show improvement he can really take his game to the next level.

Overall we see Kerdiles as a forward with top 6 potential.  We think he can be a forward similar to Andrew Brunette (in his prime) currently of the Chicago Blackhawks.   With an improvement in his skating, he could be even better, as the skating is really the only thing that is holding him out of being ranked in the teens.

… and thats the Last Word.

From Sports Kings


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