A packed house is expected tonight for the first of two Futures Games between Ducks and Sharks prospects. Tonight’s contest will be held at THE RINKS – Anaheim ICE, where earlier this morning the Ducks took part in a traditional game-day skate.
Although these are exhibition matches, players and staff are treating them like real games, including 2014 first-round draft pick Nick Ritchie. “I’m coming in trying to earn a spot on this team,” he said yesterday during the first on-ice session at rookie camp. “A lot of guys have been waiting to play a game. It’s going to be great to play. We’re treating it seriously. We really want to win these games.”
Ritchie led Peterborough (Ontario Hockey League) in goals (39) and points (74), and added 10 points (5g/5a) in 11 postseason games, helping the Petes to a first-round upset win over the Kingston Frontenacs in seven games. Ritchie became the third player in Petes franchise history to score five goals in a game during his career-high six-point performance on Feb. 7, 2014.
Ducks Rookie Camp Roster
Sharks Rookie Camp Roster
Expect a strong fanbase for Irvine native Nicolas Kerdiles, who turned pro last spring when he signed an entry-level contract in April. Kerdiles became the first Ducks draft selection who was raised in Orange County (Kerdiles born in Lewisville, TX) when he was chosen in the second round (36th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. During his final season at the University of Wisconsin, Kerdiles ranked fifth in the nation in points-per-game (1.36) and tied for 11th in assists-per-game (0.82). The 20-year-old forward collected 38 points (15g/23a) with 33 penalty minutes in 28 games with the Badgers (Big Ten), ranking third among conference skaters in scoring and goals, and second in assists. Kerdiles also appeared in six regular season AHL games with the Norfolk Admirals, scoring four points (1g/3a) with a plus-3 rating and two penalty minutes. In his Calder Cup Playoffs debut, Kerdiles co-led the team in goals (3g/1a) while appearing in all 10 games.
ON THE SHARKS
San Jose’s roster includes seven of the team’s eight selections from the 2014 NHL Draft, including first-round selection Nikolay Goldobin (27th overall), who racked up 94 points (38g/56a) in 67 games with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. Goldobin led Sarnia and ranked sixth in the OHL in scoring, and recorded at least a point in 22 consecutive games from Nov. 14, 2013 to Jan. 11, 2014. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound winger recorded 43 points during the streak (21g/22a), including three four-point performances.
Also listed on the roster is Upland, California native Kyle Bigos. Originally a fourth-round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers (99th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft, Bigos played four years with Merrimack College (Hockey East) from 2009-13. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound defenseman earned 127, 125 and 111 penalty minutes, respectively, in his final three seasons with Merrimack. Bigos was traded to the Sharks for Lee Moffie on July 8, 2013, and began his professional career with the San Francisco Bulls (ECHL) during the 2013-14 season before making his AHL debut with the Worcester Sharks on March 15, 2014.
Years before he moved to Canada to play junior hockey in the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League), Bigos played one season at the AA level for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks.
Tickets are available for tomorrow’s game against the Sharks at Honda Center (5 p.m.). Tickets are $5 (free parking) and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and the Honda Center Box Office. The game is being sold to the public as general admission seating. Doors for the game will open one hour prior to start time.
Tomorrow’s contest at Honda Center will feature an autograph session with the Ducks rookies following the game.