Two current, and one future Badger men's hockey players were selected in Saturday's NHL Draft. This years version of the draft was held at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, which also happens to be home of this years Frozen Four.
Incoming freshman Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, CA) was the first Badger to hear his name called, going 36th overall to his hometown Anaheim Ducks. Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, WI) was selected 44th by the Buffalo Sabres, and Brendan Woods (Fairfax, VA) 129th by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Anaheim jumped at the chance to draft another potential local super-star in Kerdiles.
Martin Madden (Director of Amateur Scouting, Anaheim Ducks) on Nic Kerdiles:
"(Kerdiles) is just a smart, hard-working player. He's a two-way player and has a big shot. I really like the release on his wrist shot. It allows him to score goals at this level and I think it will allow him to score at the next level as well. He should be able to work his way up the lineup. His versatility was very enticing."
Scott Burnside of ESPN.com Interviewing Kerdiles at the Draft:
Scott Burnside interview transcript:
On getting drafted by the Ducks:
"It was special. Really special for my family and I. The Ducks are fifteen minutes down the street from us, and I've been a fan for a while. Getting to put this jersey on is pretty surreal right now, and I'm trying to take it all in. It's hard, but it's a great time right now for me and my family. I couldn't be happier to go to an organization like the Ducks."
On his family from France congratulating him after the draft:
"My phone has been blowing up. E-mail is the best way for them to get in contact with me, so I've gotten a bunch of i-messages, a bunch of e-mails coming from them too. A little shout out to all of my family in France, they wish they could be here and they have been so supportive. It's great having them all behind me."
On how long he'll be at UW:
"For me it's a year by year process. We'll see how this year turns out. I don't think Mike Eaves expects me to be there for four years. But I want to see how my development ends up going. It might be one year, it might be two years, it might be three years. We'll see how it turns out."
On the embrace from his family at the draft:
"I tried not to cry, it was a little hard to be honest. They have been there through thick and thin with me. They have given up so much for me, and I can't thank them enough. I'm happy that they are part of this day, and they can feel some of the pleasure that I'm feeling right now."
Nic Kerdiles meeting with the Anaheim Media:
Kerdiles media scrum transcript:
On staying local:
"This is going to be a really fun time for my family because we live in Irvine, California right down the street. It's pretty exciting, and pretty surreal moment right now for me and my family."
On not being selected on day one:
"It's a draft, so I was expecting anything to happen. For me, it was just trying to enjoy the moment with my family. It was stressful; I was sweating a little bit. But I got selected by the Ducks, my hometown team. It's a great organization and I'm very excited right now."
On getting to go through the moment with his family:
"It's everything I've dreamt of for a long time. I love my sisters, I love my parents. They've done so much for me, and I'm so thankful for everything they've done. Just sharing this moment with them is pretty special."
On his pre-draft contact with Anaheim:
"We had a good long meeting at the combine, and we stayed in contact throughout the days leading up to the draft. Like I said, I'm very happy right now, and I couldn't have gone to a better team."
On his relationship with Ducks prospect and fellow California native Emerson Etem:
"He's always been a good role model for me. I saw him this summer before I came out here, and he told me good luck. He's a great guy, and I look forward to going to camp for him. I look forward to seeing him soon. It's pretty special for two California guys to be drafted by a hometown team, so it's a fun time right now."
On his plans for the fall:
"I made my commitment and I like to stand by it. I'm already at Wisconsin right now taking some summer classes, and we'll go from there. But I'm very excited to be with Mike Eaves and the guys over at Wisconsin."
On what he needs to work on:
"I think I just need to get bigger and stronger, that's the number one thing. I have a good frame, now I just need to fill out a little bit more. Work on my hands, work on my skill work, and I think with Mike Eaves I'll get all that, and hopefully make it to the NHL soon."
Nic Kerdiles speaking with the Duck's official website:
On the feeling of being drafted:
"It was pretty surreal. I had a hint that maybe if I went to the 36th position that the Ducks might pick me up. When they came around, I was pretty nervous. I looked at my family and said ‘This could be it.' Once I heard my name called and actually my city of Irvine, California, it was a really surreal feeling for my family and me. My mom was crying and my dad was very happy. I'm just very excited to be part of an organization like the Ducks."
On when he moved to California:
"I moved from Texas to France, then when I was six and a half, I moved from France over to California. That is my transition on how I moved over to California."
On his play with the U.S. National Development Team:
"We had a great season. Personally, I got a gold medal with my under-17 team and then I moved up. This past year (with the under-18 team) too I picked up another one. It was a great program for me. I developed a lot and got what I wanted out of it. As a team, we won the world championship. It was a very successful season for my teammates and me."
On talks with the Ducks before the NHL Draft:
"I talked with them a fair amount. At the combine, we had a good long meeting, probably the longest meeting out of all the ones I had over there. Then, I got in contact with a couple of guys leading up to the draft. They showed some interest. When their pick rolled around, I got a little bit more nervous. Now, here I am drafted by the Ducks and wearing their jersey. It's pretty surreal right now."
On his familiarity with the Ducks:
"I've been out to some games and I've also skated with a lot of the Ducks players during some skates that I got invited to about two years ago. (Former Ducks assistant coach) Newell Brown had some pro skates and let me go there with the guys. I was the youngest guy out there, but I was skating with guys like Bobby Ryan, George Parros, Cam Fowler and even (Colorado Avalanche forward) Matt Duchene, Newell's nephew. I was lucky to skate with those guys. I got to know them a little bit. This is the perfect place for me."
On his style of play:
"I'm a two-way, big power forward with good speed and skill. I like to play in the gritty areas. I put up points and I like to score goals. When it comes to big pressure situations, I think that is when I play my best."
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