Dec. 4, 2013
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin sophomore center Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.) was announced by USA Hockey as one of the 26 players chosen for the 2014 U.S. National Junior team preliminary roster on Wednesday.
"We're excited about the group of players we've invited to camp," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and former Wisconsin player. "There will be some tough decisions in getting to the final roster, but that's certainly a good problem to have."
His inclusion makes five different Badgers on preliminary rosters in the last five seasons, as Jake McCabe (2013), John Ramage (2010, 2011), Jake Gardiner (2011) and Derek Stepan (2010) were all slotted for the preliminary roster before being selected to the final roster.
McCabe, Ramage and Stepan each captained the team, and all five Badgers have earned a gold medal, with Ramage also capturing a bronze medal in 2011.
Mike Eaves has also been involved with the World Junior Championship, as he piloted Team USA to its first gold medal in the event as head coach in 2004.
The 26 players will participate in a training camp at Mariucci Arena from Dec. 15-18. Afterward, the U.S. plays three games, which include matchups against Minnesota State (Dec. 17), Finland (Dec. 20) and Sweden (Dec. 22). The final 23-man roster will be set the next day.
That squad will compete in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship from Dec. 26 – Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden, a tournament in which the U.S. has medaled in three of the last four years.
Kerdiles has enjoyed a strong sophomore season, which saw him extend his point-scoring streak to 18 games (just three games short of Eaves’ school-record) before it finally came to an end on Nov. 15 against Miami. A USA Hockey National Development Team Program alumni, Kerdiles ranks second on Wisconsin in goals scored (5), total points (10) and shooting percentage (.200) this season.
The 2012 WCHA Final Five MVP was a second-round draft pick of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks (36th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.