Kerdiles to stay at Wisconsin

first_imgWisconsin head coach Mike Eaves’ team received a major boost Monday when star freshman forward Nic Kerdiles announced he would serve his suspension and remain a Badger.[/media-credit]More than two weeks after the NCAA suspended Nic Kerdiles, the freshman forward for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team announced Monday he would remain in Madison for the upcoming season. The 18-year-old Kerdiles is a recruit out of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program whom the Anaheim Ducks drafted in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft. The Irvine, Calif., native saw his season-long suspension taken to 10 games Friday after the school appealed the NCAA’s decision. “I still do not understand everything that has happened to me in this process or why it has happened at all,” Kerdiles said Monday, reading from a statement at head coach Mike Eaves’ weekly press conference.“My goal is not to take this situation and turn it into any adversity that my team would have to overcome,” Kerdiles continued. “Therefore, I am choosing to move forward and put all my energy and focus into being the best student athlete I can be.”Eaves credited the hard work of the UW administration in this whole process as well as Kerdiles for his maturity in handling a challenging situation.“Every once in a while you have a true freshman come in who’s beyond his years in emotional and mental state, and Nick is one of those people,” Eaves said.After the NCAA’s new ruling on the situation, Kerdiles said there was “never a doubt” he would skip out on professional hockey for at least the next year and instead don the cardinal and white. “I’ve loved every second of my first couple months here even with all this stuff going on,” Kerdiles said. “I truly believe that I’m meant to be here and meant to continue pursuing my ultimate goal of playing in the NHL.”Though Kerdiles has decided to serve the suspension, Eaves believes the recent controversy over Kerdiles will now draw more attention to the process of college hockey recruitment. The freshman fell under NCAA scrutiny after he and his family stayed in hotel rooms paid for by an NHL agent that Kerdiles’ family eventually repaid the agent for. “I’m sure that because of Nick’s situation here that there is going to be a lot of attention to detail,” Eaves said. “With the hockey players coming into college hockey and the situation with family advisors, there is no question.”Though Kerdiles will sit out until Nov. 30 when the Badgers face off with Denver on the road, the team will be looking to its younger players to step up on the road this weekend against Duluth. Eaves and Kerdiles both expressed their confidence that the locker room has not been shaken by the controversy surrounding Wisconsin’s high-profile recruit. “We’re excited about getting on the road, ” Eaves said. “That’s always fun to get on the road … We had a good week of practice last week, we will continue to build this week and see what we can get done on the road.”When UW does hit the road this weekend, they will be looking for the offense to increase its offensive production on the road when it faces an aggressive Minnesota-Duluth (2-2) team. The Bulldogs recently returned from a split with Notre Dame Thursday and Friday.“In watching film this past week, I can say this: They play hard,” Eaves said “As a matter of fact, they probably played too hard for their coach, they had to kill off about three five-on-threes Friday night.”The Badgers will hope to counter the aggressive play of the Bulldogs when they head to Minnesota for their third and fourth games of the season. Wisconsin has yet to win a game in the young season and is looking for more offensive efficiency against its first WCHA opponent. They will be facing a UMD team looking to create an identity after losing much of its offensive firepower with the graduation of last year’s senior class.“As we look at their club very quickly,” Eaves said. “They have seven seniors, they have a bunch of highly-touted young freshmen and a couple young goaltenders that they’re trying to figure out who’s going to be there number one.”last_img

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