No stranger to competition in a Team USA uniform, Wisconsin sophomore-to-be Nic Kerdiles will once again put his talents on display for the decision-makers at USA Hockey. Thursday, Kerdiles was listed as one of 40 players that will participate in the 2013 National Junior Evaluation Camp, Aug. 3-10, in Lake Placid, N.Y. The players will be auditioning for spots on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.
A native of Irvine, Calif., Kerdiles spent two seasons at the USA National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., and won two gold medals at the World U18 Championships. In his final season with the program, Kerdiles lead the U18 team in scoring and recorded five points in the IIHF gold medal-winning game vs. Sweden.
Kerdiles had a phenomenal start to his collegiate career this past season, helping the Badgers to a Broadmoor Trophy as WCHA tournament champions and a berth in the NCAA tournament. 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 period, Kerdiles notched five goals and 16 points. Those 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, Kerdiles, 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.
Former Badgers' player Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the fifth consecutive year.
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