Anaheim opened its second day at the 2012 NHL Draft by selecting left wing Nicolas Kerdiles with the 36th overall selection.
While born in Lewisville, Texas, Kerdiles is a local product who now calls Irvine home. The 6-2, 207-pound forward has committed to playing at the University of Wisconsin in the fall.
In 2011-12, he led the U.S. National Under-18 squad with 42 points (20-22--42) in 50 games. His seven power-play goals also paced the team, while he ranked second with four game-winners. He finished the 2010-11 season in a three-way tie for second on U.S. Under-17 team with 20 points (12-8--20) in 32 games.
"I got selected by my hometown team. I'm very excited right now," said Kerdiles after receiving a Ducks jersey on the Consol Energy Center draft floor.
Kerdiles won gold at both the 2011 and 2012 Under-18 World Junior Championship. He played with teammates, and fellow 2012 NHL Draft prospects, Jacob Trouba and Brady Skjei at the 2012 tournament. Kerdiles recorded five points (2-3--5) in the gold-medal game against Sweden.
“Nick has a lot of physical attributes that make him an attractive player," University of Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said. "He’s a prototypical power forward. He has good feet in the corners and has a real knack in front of the net. He’s got a good shot. Offensively we’re looking for some real contributions from him right away as a freshman."
He also played for Team USA at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he scored the overtime winner in the semifinals. He finished the tournament with four points (two goals, two assists) in five games.
Kerdiles started playing roller hockey when he was six, but moved to ice hockey at age eight – “I got started with hockey through my next-door neighbor, who was playing roller hockey at the time [and] would invite me over to play every day.”
NHL player: Mike Modano, Evgeni Malkin
Shootout move: Fake shot, backhand, forehand, top shelf
Goal celebration: Grab the ice, throw up your arms
Video game: Mario Kart
Movie: The Hangover
TV show: Deadliest Catch
Actor: Adam Sandler
Cartoon character: Spongebob Squarepants
Pump-up song: “The Catalyst (Techno Version)” – Linkin Park
Restaurant: Outback Steakhouse
Sport (other than hockey): Football
Breakfast food: Crepes
Place to visit: France (where most of his family lives)
Moments after he was selected, Kerdiles spoke over the phone with AnaheimDucks.com. The following is a transcript:
On the feeling of being drafted
It was pretty surreal. I had a hint that maybe if I went to the 36th position that the Ducks might pick me up. When they came around, I was pretty nervous. I looked at my family and said ‘This could be it.’ Once I heard my name called and actually my city of Irvine, California, it was a really surreal feeling for my family and me. My mom was crying and my dad was very happy. I’m just very excited to be part of an organization like the Ducks.
On when he moved to California
I moved from Texas to France, then when I was six and a half, I moved from France over to California. That is my transition on how I moved over to California.
On his play with the U.S. National Development Team
We had a great season. Personally, I got a gold medal with my under-17 team and then I moved up. This past year (with the under-18 team) too I picked up another one. It was a great program for me. I developed a lot and got what I wanted out of it. As a team, we won the world championship. It was a very successful season for my teammates and me.
On talks with the Ducks before the NHL Draft
I talked with them a fair amount. At the combine, we had a good long meeting, probably the longest meeting out of all the ones I had over there. Then, I got in contact with a couple of guys leading up to the draft. They showed some interest. When their pick rolled around, I got a little bit more nervous. Now, here I am drafted by the Ducks and wearing their jersey. It’s pretty surreal right now.
On his familiarity with the Ducks
I’ve been out to some games and I’ve also skated with a lot of the Ducks players during some skates that I got invited to about two years ago. (Former Ducks assistant coach) Newell Brown had some pro skates and let me go there with the guys. I was the youngest guy out there, but I was skating with guys like Bobby Ryan, George Parros, Cam Fowler and even (Colorado Avalanche forward) Matt Duchene, Newell’s nephew. I was lucky to skate with those guys. I got to know them a little bit. This is the perfect place for me.
On his style of play
I’m a two-way, big power forward with good speed and skill. I like to play in the gritty areas. I put up points and I like to score goals. When it comes to big pressure situations, I think that is when I play my best.