Hockey Recruiting: International Badger

Badger recruit Nic Kerdiles leads Team USA into the Five Nations Tournament in Finland this week.

Kerdiles To Play In Finland This Week

It's a huge week for 2012 Wisconsin recruit Nic Kerdiles. The potential first round NHL Draft pick and his USA U18 teammates are currently in Europe for the 2012 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament.

The event taking place in Pori, Finland features five of the elite hockey countries in the world (Sweden, Czech Republic, and Russia, in addition to the United States and Finland). It's not the most high profile international event at the U18 level, but it's a preview of the U18 World Championships that will take place later in the spring.

Kerdiles currently leads the USA U18's in goals scored as well as total points. NHL Draft publications continue to project the future Badger as a high pick. TSN Mid-season report (38), Hockey Prospectus (26), and Future Considerations (17), all rank the Irvine, California native as a top two round talent.

Team USA kicks off the tournament today against the Czech Republic at 11:30 AM Central Time.

Besse Looks Like The Real Deal

Wisconsin fans were ecstatic when the Badgers landed a verbal commitment from Benilde-St. Margaret's forward Grant Besse.The 5'10, 175 pound forward is widely considered one of the top prep players from the state of Minnesota.

The winger from Wayzata was having a pretty solid season when he gave his pledge to Mike Eaves and the Badgers on January 8th. Since that date, Besse has exploded for 37 points over 12 games including 27 goals.

Besse has been outstanding and is fourth in the state of Minnesota in total points with 67 through just 22 games. That equates to a ridiculous 3.05 points per game. The 2014 Badger recruit has recorded a point in every game this season and has notched multiple points in 16 of 22.

The Red Knights are currently ranked #8 in class AA by both the Minnesota Hockey Hub and Let's Play Hockey.

Benilde has three games remaining and will start playoffs in about a week and a half.

Davison Set For WIAA Playoffs

2013 Badger defense recruit Tim Davison recently wrapped up the regular season with his Notre Dame Academy club. Davison finished the regular season with 40 points (9 goals, 31 assists) which was good for third on the Tritons.

Notre Dame Academy heads into the WIAA playoffs with targets on their backs. The 21-3 Tritons have been ranked #1 in the state for the majority of the season according to Wisconsin Prep Hockey and are the #1 seed in section 5.

NDA, who has made it to Madison for the state tournament the past two seasons will receive a first round bye in the regional. They will host the winner of DePere/Oshkosh on February 16th.

Davison had an opportunity to go to the USHL the past two seasons but stayed at Notre Dame in part to bring the Tritons their first state title. You have to think this is their best shot.

By the way, there are rumors that Davison will still play in the USHL this season. Chicago owns his rights and could bring in Davison after the high school season. It will be interesting to hear what Team Wisconsin would say about that decision.

Zulinick Leads Salmon Arm

2012 Badger recruit Morgan Zulinick continues to score for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The 17 year old forward from Kamloops, B.C. leads the club with 56 points in 48 games, 9 points more than any other player.

Zulinick is currently 17th in the BCHL in total points, but I'm not sure that's a fair assessment. Zulinick is one of only three 17 year olds in the top 20.

Additionally, nine of the top 13 spots are filled with players from the 42-3-2 Penticton Vees. Zulinick is playing for one of the two or three worst teams in the BCHL.

Salmon Arm has seven games remaining and it's likely that those will be the last seven games of Zulinick's season. Salmon Arm is 14 points out of a playoff spot which means barring a miracle of epic proportions, the Silverbacks season will end in a few weeks.

Wisconsin Committed Recruits
Player
Team
Position
Arrival
Size
DOB
Games
Goals
Assists
Points
Grant Besse
Benilde-St. Margaret's
F
2014
5'10, 175
7-14-1994
22
37
30
67

Team Northwest***1




24
17
18
35
Tim Davison
Notre Dame Academy
D
2013
5'10, 169
3-2-1994
24
9
31
40

Team Wisconsin***2




21
1
11
12
Nicolas Kerdiles
USA NTDP U18
F
2012
6'1, 194
1-11-1994
36
13
13
26
Jake Linhart
Chicago Mission U16
D
2014
5'10, 160
1-17-1996
22
4
9
13
Corbin McGuire
Springfield (EJHL)***3
F
2013
5'8, 185
3-2-1994
11
4
2
6

Jersey (EJHL)




25
3
12
15
Kevin Schulze
Muskegon (USHL)***4
D
2012
5'9, 155
4-29-1993
8
0
6
6

Omaha (USHL)




30
1
13
14
Eddie Wittchow
Waterloo (USHL)
D
2012
6'4, 200
10-31-1992
36
2
11
13
Morgan Zulinick
Salmon Arm (BCHL)
C
2012
5'11, 185
6-29-1994
46
22
34
56
Wisconsin Committed Recruits (Goalies)
Player
Team
Position
Arrival
Size
DOB
Record
GAA
Save %
SO
Gabe Grunwald
Michigan (NAHL)***5
G
2013
6'3, 190
3-15-1993
0-4
4.56
.871
0

Kenai River (NAHL)




1-1
3.15
.906
0

Updated: 2/9/12 7:00 AM

***=Not currently on active roster

1-Team Northwest is Grant Besse's Upper Midwest HS Elite League team (before & after HS season).

2-Team Wisconsin is Tim Davison's Upper Midwest HS Elite League team (before & after HS season).

3-Corbin McGuire was traded from Springfield to Jersey.

4-Kevin Schulze was traded from Muskegon to Omaha.

5-Gabe Grunwald was traded from Michigan to Kenai River.

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For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Chuck on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz)

Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at chuckschwartz@live.com

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