Nov. 16, 2011
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin men’s hockey head coach Mike Eaves announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent in the early signing period. The three are forward Nicolas Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.), defenseman Kevin Schulze (White Bear Lake, Minn.) and forward Morgan Zulinick (Kamloops, British Columbia).
Kerdiles (pronounced Kuhr-dee-less), a 6-1 and 196-pound forward, currently skates with the U.S. National Under-18 Team as part of the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. The team just won the 2011 Under-18 Four Nations Tournament in Switzerland, where Kerdiles led the tournament with five goals and five points. Finland, Sweden and Switzerland took part in the event along with the United States. Through 17 games played in 2011-12 for the Under-18 team, Kerdiles boasts five goals, including two game-winning tallies, and three assists. His 12 points share the team lead.
Kerdiles split his time during the 2010-11 season between the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 teams. In 40 games with the U-17 squad, the left-handed shot ranked third on the team with 17 goals, fourth with 27 points and led the team with four power-play tallies. He posted three goals and 10 points in 20 games with the Under-18 team. Before joining the U.S. National Team Development Program, Kerdiles scored 121 points, including 65 goals, in 68 games for the L.A. Selects midget program.
Additional international experience for Kerdiles includes winning gold at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation U18 Men’s World Championship in Germany, a first-place finish at the 2010 Four National Cup in Illinois and a second-place result at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Manitoba.
Earlier this year, Kerdiles was invited to the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp, an event run by the NHL to test new rules and equipment. He’s eligible for the NHL draft in 2012.
Eaves on Kerdiles: “He’s a big forward with great feet, good first step and is really good in the corners. For his age group, he’s one of the top players in the country.”
Schulze (pronounced Shuhls), a 5-9 and 165-pound defenseman, was recently traded from the Muskegon Lumberjacks to the Omaha lancers of the USHL. Through eight games with the Lumberjacks, Schulze set up six goals, including four on the power play. The White Bear Lake, Minn., native has since added three assists in six games played for the Western Conference’s second-place Lancers.
Schulze is a former captain for Hill-Murray High School. During the 2010-11 campaign, Schulze scored four goals and collected 29 assists in 28 regular-season games, then added a goal and three assists in three sectional playoff contests. In 2009-10, the left-handed shot scored twice and added 12 assists in 31 games. He chipped in one assist in two games during the state tournament.
Eaves on Schulze: “Kevin is a real smooth skating young defenseman. He sees the ice very well and can make a really good pass. For his size, he plays very aggressively and very well away from the puck.
Zulinick, a 5-11 and 185-pound forward, will join the Badgers from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL. In 38 games during the 2010-11 season, the left-handed shot scored 12 goals and finished with 29 points playing for Salmon Arm. Through 17 games this season, Zulinick boasts seven goals and 24 points, three points off the team leader for fourth on the team, but second in points per game. Two of his seven goals have come while the Silverbacks have been shorthanded, which leads the team.
Prior to his time with Salmon Arm, Zulinick skated for the Thompson Blazers of the British Columbia Major Midget League. While there, he was named the BCMML Player of the Month for December 2009. He finished that 2009-10 season with 14 goals and 40 points in 38 games played.
Eaves on Zulinick: “He’s an offensive forward playing in British Columbia. He sees the ice really well and protects the puck well. He’s a very strong competitor who will bring an offensive flair to our forward group.”