Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Badgers Go West, Land Elite California Recuit

Andy Baggot's blog tips us off to the fact that the Wisconsin Badgers took the next step in continuing their storied tradition by landing the services of elite forward Nick Kerdiles from Irvine, California. Kerdiles is a 1994 born forward who currenltly plays for the LA Selects program. Over the past summer he played at the USA Hockey select 15 festival in Rochester, New York. He has already accepted a spot with the USA National Team Development Program for next season.

Kirdiles will be a 2012 recruit and joins other committed players Corbin McGuire and Jordan Schmaltz to form the start of an absolutely sick class.

I got a chance to talk to Kirdles tonight and here were his initial comments:

"I'm absolutely speechless and still in shock and I don't think it has set in yet. It is such a great academically and athletically strong school. Its track record proves it with six National Championships. I love the facility that they play in! The Kohl Center is second to none and is just absolutely amazing. I can not wait to play in it! The atmosphere is amazing there at the Kohl Center and everyone loves the badgers in the community which is awesome!!!

Most importantly i really like the coaches. They are very approachable and I felt comfortable around them. I felt welcomed and they are such nice people. They all have strong backgrounds and I had a chance to talk with some of the boys and go out to eat with them and hang out at the dorms and they just told me so many great things about them. Its honestly a first class University."

Chuck Schwartz: You were at the Camp Randall game last weekend. What was that experience like?

Nick Kerdiles: All I can say is breath taking. It was such an amazing experience. Only so many people in the world will ever get to experience what I was fortunate to see. The crowd was loud and very positive, the weather was nice and cold for a California guy like me but i loved it, and the game couldn't have turned out better with the big win for The BADGERS!

Chuck Schwartz: How long have you been considering Wisconsin and what made you decide on them?

Nick Kerdiles: Wisconsin has always been high on my list because of the instant interest they showed me right off the bat. They were the first to send me a questionnaire and also really wanted me to talk to them as much as I could. I have always loved wisconsin and they have a great track record, and I believe they are the best University for hockey to develop and get better and I have a great chance to win a National Championship with them!

Chuck Schwartz: What other schools were you looking at?

Nick Kerdiles: The University of Michigan showed me a lot of interested and also offered me and Denver was talking to me closely and a little of North Dakota.

Chuck Schwartz: Wisconsin has a very elite class shaping up for 2012 with Jordan Schmaltz and Corbin McGuire already committed, do you know those players and are you excited to play with them?

Nick Kerdiles: I do not know them. I am extremely excited for opportunity that lies ahead of me and I will do anything to win a national championship and develop for hopefully one day the NHL.

Chuck Schwartz: 2012 is still a long ways away. Is there any chance of you playing in the WHL or are you dead set on the college route?

Nick Kerdiles: I am dead set on the college route. I get good grades and I can use that to my advantage by getting my college paid for and also having more time to develop both as a man and by a hockey player.

Chuck Schwartz: Wisconsin is a long ways away from California, how did they get into the picture as a future destination?

Nick Kerdiles: Wisconsin is a great hockey school so I would fly across the world if it meant that I would be putting on the Badgers uniform. I laid out the pros and cons of Wisconsin and all I could come up with was the pros, no cons which is a great sign.

Chuck Schwartz: I see you listed at 150 pounds. Is that accurate and where do you see your size/weight when you come to Madison?

Nick Kerdiles: That is false. I am Currently at 6 foot 1 and 1/2 and i weigh 184 pounds. Going to the NTDP will give me a huge advantage because of how strong the program is. They have great trainers and Coaches and I will be playing against older guys in the USHL and the following year on the 18U team against colleges too. I do not have an exact estimate for you but i trust the NTDP staff of putting on the right weight that I need to put on.

Chuck Schwartz: Can you give us an indication on your style of play?

Nick Kerdiles: I'm a big strong play maker who will play gritty and fight for loose pucks. I have speed and I excel in puck-protection. I like being the difference maker in games by putting up points and helping my team win.

I can't thank Nick enough for taking the time out tonight to answer a couple questions for us. I wish him luck over the next few seasons and can't wait to see him on campus in 2012.