June 6, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Team USA has never won a gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship without a Wisconsin Badger leading the way, literally. Past captains Jake McCabe and Derek Stepan, as well as U.S. head coach Mike Eaves were each a part of the three titles in the tournament of the world's best players under 20.
The latest Badger looking to make an impact for Team USA is Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.), who was officially invited to his second consecutive National Junior Evaluation Camp on Thursday. This year's camp, which will help in the selection for America's entry in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, runs Aug. 3-10 in Lake Placid, N.Y. This year's championship takes place Dec. 26, 2013 through Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.
The 2014 U.S. National Junior Team will be selected following a pre-tournament camp Dec. 15-18 to be held in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.
A second-round draft pick of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks in 2012, Kerdiles finished the 2012-13 season for the Badgers as one of the hottest players in the country. He finished with goals in each of his last four games and points in each of his last 12 contests. He was named the WCHA Final Five MVP for his performance, helping the Badgers capture the 2013 WCHA Final Five title and also finished as one of just two freshmen in the nation to average better than a point per game for the season. He paced Wisconsin in scoring average, but ranked second on the squad with 33 points in 32 games played on 11 goals and 22 assists.
Kerdiles already boasts international experience on his resume with his team-leading nine-point performance at the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. Kerdiles and Team USA captured the gold medal at the event.