Photo Credit: Jada Jones Kavanagh
Anaheim Ducks Senior VP David McNab says that it's Anaheim's choice -- and Nic Kerdiles' choice -- for the blue-chip recruit to stay at Wisconsin during his suspension.
Since Friday's announcement of the NCAA reducing the suspension of Wisconsin freshman Nic Kerdiles from one-year to 10 games, neither Kerdiles nor the university has made a public announcement about where Kerdiles will play hockey this season.
Kerdiles was with his teammates at the opening of LaBahn Arena Friday night and also when they were announced on the field at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday afternoon during the Badgers' 38-13 thrashing of Minnesota.
The only public statement came immediately after the announcement from Walter Dickey, Wisconsin's Senior Associate Athletic Director for Regulatory Affairs, who handled the appeal on behalf of the University of Wisconsin.
"Nic is currently exploring his options which we have encouraged him to do. Our hope is that he remains a Badger," Dickey said.
Kerdiles' WHL rights are owned by the Kelowna Rockets, where he could go and play immediately.
While neither Kerdiles nor the university will speak on the topic, his future employer weighed in on the subject over the weekend.
According to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal Sunday morning, Anaheim Ducks Senior VP David McNab said that both Kerdiles and the Ducks believe he should stick things out in Madison.
"I know what Nic's choice is. Nic's choice is obviously to stay at Wisconsin," McNab told the State Journal. "Our choice is that he stays at Wisconsin."
Kerdiles, who hails from Irvine, Calif., was a second-round draft pick of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks (No. 36 overall) this past June. The 6-foot-2, 196-pound forward was considered by some to be the top recruit in the country for the upcoming season.
Unfortunately for Mike Eaves and the Badgers, UW will be without the services of Kerdiles during four WCHA league series. Kerdiles will miss two games each versus Minnesota-Duluth, Colorado College, Minnesota and Minnesota State.
The blue-chip left wing sat out two games against Northern Michigan last weekend and will be eligible to play beginning Nov. 30 at Denver.
With WCHA and NCAA playoffs as well as the World Junior Championship, Kerdiles is still expected to play upward of 35-40 games this season.
Eaves has noted on multiple occasions over the past few weeks that Kerdiles has handled this situation as well as any 18-year-old could, given the circumstances.
Given his decision to stick things out in Madison despite the injustice served by the NCAA only confirms Eaves assessment of his young forward.
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