The Wisconsin men's hockey team captivated the nation while going on a remarkable run to end the season, winning the Broadmoor Trophy as WCHA playoff champions and capturing a birth in the NCAA tournament. Freshman Nic Kerdiles was a big reason for the Badgers' success, and for his efforts was recognized as the National Division I Rookie of the Month by the Hockey Commissioners' Association for March/April.
Wisconsin's remarkable turnaround this season coincided with the return of Kerdiles to the Badgers' lineup. After a 1-7-2 start to the season, Wisconsin went 21-6-5 with Kerdiles in the lineup after his Nov. 30 debut at Denver.
The Badgers were especially good down the stretch, going 8-2 from March 1 forward. Over that time period, Kerdiles notched five goals and 16 points. Kerdiles' 16 points were second in the nation overall, and tops for rookie skaters.
A 2012 second-round NHL draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, Kerdiles got better as the games got bigger and finished the season on a 12-game point streak (six goals, 19 points). Kerdiles recorded multiple points in all five WCHA playoff games and was named the WCHA Final Five MVP for his three-goal, six-point tournament in St. Paul.
Overall, the freshman from Irvine, Calif., finished the season with 33 points in 32 games and was one of just two freshmen in the nation to finish the season with over a point-per-game average. Kerdiles is also the first Wisconsin freshman to average more than one point per game in a season since Joe Pavelski in 2004-05.
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