Nic Kerdiles is an American ice hockey player who currently plays for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the American Hockey League (AHL). He was drafted 36th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and made his NHL debut in 2016.
Kerdiles has gained a loyal fan following over the years, not just for his skills on the ice but also for his charming personality off the ice. Here are some of the main reasons why people love Nic Kerdiles so much:
His Exceptional Hockey Skills and Talent
Natural Goal Scoring Ability
One of the biggest reasons people love Nic Kerdiles is his natural goal scoring ability. He has a knack for finding the back of the net and can score goals in many different ways – wrist shots, slap shots, deflections, rebounds. Kerdiles has an excellent shot with both power and accuracy.
During his collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin, Kerdiles scored 33 goals in 82 games. His best goal scoring season came in 2012-13 when he netted 15 goals in only 22 games. That kind of scoring touch at the college level showed he could develop into a consistent goal scorer as a pro.
Skating and Puck Handling Skills
In addition to his scoring touch, Kerdiles is also praised for his smooth skating abilities and deft puck handling skills. He has quick feet that allow him to zip up the ice and blow past defenders. Kerdiles also has soft hands and the ability to make creative dekes and passes in tight spaces.
His combination of skating and puck skills makes him a dynamic offensive threat. He can either finish plays himself or set up teammates with crisp, tape-to-tape passes. Kerdiles’ overall skillset allows him to stand out on the ice.
Two-Way Playing Ability
While known mostly for his offensive abilities, Kerdiles is also a capable two-way player. He backchecks hard on defense and uses his hockey IQ to anticipate plays and create turnovers. Kerdiles is also not afraid to block shots or get physical battling for pucks along the boards.
His versatility as both an offensive creator and defensive stopper adds to his value as a player. Kerdiles can be used in all situations, making him a coach’s dream.
In addition to individual skills, Kerdiles also possesses strong leadership qualities. He captained the U.S. National Under-18 team in 2011-12 and served as an alternate captain for Wisconsin during his sophomore season. Kerdiles leads by example on the ice but also vocally in the locker room.
His natural leadership at a young age signaled he could develop into a core leader on NHL teams. Coaches and teammates alike praise his character and work ethic.
His Fun-Loving and Charismatic Personality
Down-to-Earth and Approchable
What really draws people to Nic Kerdiles is his fun-loving and charismatic personality off the ice. Unlike some hockey players who can be stoic and serious, Kerdiles is known for his sense of humor and personable nature. He comes across as down-to-earth and very approachable to fans.
Kerdiles often jokes around with fans on social media and takes time to sign autographs or chat after games. There are many stories of him going out of his way to make a fan’s day. His open and amiable personality makes him one of the most fan-friendly players around.
Passionate and Determined
While easy-going off the ice, Kerdiles also has a passionate and determined side. After twice suffering concussions that stalled his career, he showed tremendous perseverance to keep chasing his NHL dream.
Fans root for him not only for his talent but because of how hard he works and how much he has overcome. Kerdiles has an underdog story that makes people want to see him succeed. His passion and determination are inspiring.
Engaging Social Media Presence
Kerdiles has built up his fanbase through his engaging social media presence. He is very active on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, giving fans a glimpse into his life and personality away from the rink.
Kerdiles posts funny pictures, thoughtful reflections, and motivational quotes. Fans feel like they really get to know him as a person. He also hosts his own podcast called “Dangle Snipe Celly.” His openness on social media makes him one of the most popular hockey players to follow.
His Road to the NHL
Highly Touted Prospect
Ever since starring for the U.S. National Team Development program and the University of Wisconsin, Kerdiles has been highly touted as an NHL prospect. He was considered one of the best American-born players in his draft class.
Being such a well-regarded prospect put him in the spotlight early. Hockey fans have been tracking his development since his junior days. People became invested in his journey to the pros.
Kerdiles’ path to the NHL hit some bumps along the way. He suffered two concussions during the 2015-16 season that limited him to just 7 games.
These fluke injuries were disheartening for both Kerdiles and fans. There were worries that the concussions could derail his promising career. But he persevered through the rehab process and returned strong the next season. His resilience in overcoming the injuries made fans root for him even more.
Earning His Spot
After battling back from the concussions, Kerdiles had to claw his way back up the ranks in the AHL before finally making his NHL debut with Anaheim in 2016-17. He split time between Anaheim and their AHL affiliate in San Diego for a few seasons.
Watching Kerdiles have to grind his way to the NHL after the injuries made the payoff of his debut even more satisfying. People love seeing hard work rewarded.
What Makes Him a Fan Favorite
Kerdiles has all the qualities that make for a beloved fan favorite:
- Elite hockey skills and natural talent
- Fun-loving personality off the ice
- Passion and perseverance through adversity
- Engaging social media presence
- Underdog story of reaching NHL after setbacks
He combines world-class talent with a down-to-earth attitude that draws people in. Kerdiles’ determination through injury struggles is also inspirational. His openness on social media allows fans to connect with him on a personal level.
For all these reasons, Nic Kerdiles holds a special place in the hearts of hockey fans as one of the most popular players around. The NHL is better with him in it, and people hope to see him realize his full potential.
Key Moments in His Career So Far
Kerdiles’ career thus far has been a rollercoaster ride, with many highs and lows along the way. Some key moments:
- 2012 NHL Draft – Kerdiles drafted 36th overall by Anaheim Ducks after standout career with U.S. National Development Team
- 2012-13 season – Has a stellar freshman year at University of Wisconsin, leads team in goals (15) and points (33) in 22 games
- 2015-16 season – Suffers two concussions that limit him to just 7 AHL games
- 2016-17 season – After battling back from concussions, Kerdiles makes NHL debut with Anaheim on January 15, 2017
- 2018-19 season – Kerdiles plays in NHL career-high 18 games for Ducks, notching 2 goals and 3 assists
- 2019-20 season – Clears waivers and is assigned to Ducks’ AHL affiliate in San Diego
- 2021-22 season – Signs minor league contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL
Despite some adversity, Kerdiles is still chasing his dream of being an NHL regular. People are rooting for him to get there one day soon.
What the Future May Hold
At just 27 years old, Kerdiles is still chasing his NHL dream. What does the future potentially hold?
- Earns regular NHL role – If Kerdiles can stay healthy and catch some breaks, he has the skill to potentially still earn a full-time NHL role in the right situation.
- NHL journeyman – The most likely scenario is that Kerdiles becomes an NHL journeyman over the next 5-10 years – splitting time between the NHL and AHL while providing injury fill-in duty.
- Impact in Europe – If an NHL role does not materialize, Kerdiles could stand out as a scoring force in a European pro league. His skills would shine on the wider ice.
- AHL star/leader – Kerdiles may carve out a long, successful career as a core AHL player, providing leadership and offense for affiliates while mentoring prospects.
- Coaching career – Once he hangs up the skates, Kerdiles could go into coaching. His leadership abilities and passion for the game make him well-suited for a coaching role.
No matter what path he takes in the game, Kerdiles will remain a popular figure with hockey fans due to his incredible likeability.
In summary, Nic Kerdiles has earned the love and admiration of hockey fans for a variety of reasons. His silky skills and scoring touch light up the ice. He has a magnetic personality that connects with people. His perseverance through adversity is inspirational. Kerdiles gives back to fans with his engaging social media presence.
After being a highly-touted prospect and suffering some setbacks from concussions, Kerdiles is still working hard to become an NHL regular. Fans are drawn to his underdog story and passion for the game.
While the future is uncertain, his talent and likeability should ensure Kerdiles remains a fan favorite for years to come. No matter what challenges arise, he will keep chasing his ultimate dream in hockey with determination and grace.
Frequently Asked Questions
What NHL team drafted Nic Kerdiles?
Nic Kerdiles was drafted 36th overall in the 2nd round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks. He was considered one of the top American-born prospects in his draft class after excelling with the U.S. National Team Development Program.
What was Nic Kerdiles’ best NHL season?
Kerdiles’ best NHL season so far came in 2018-19 when he played in a career-high 18 games for the Anaheim Ducks. During that season, he recorded 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points. He also registered his first multi-point game, notching 1 goal and 1 assist against the Canucks on February 13, 2019.
How severe were Nic Kerdiles’ concussions?
In the 2015-16 season, Kerdiles suffered two concussions in the span of just two months that derailed his season. The first occurred in November 2015 and the second in January 2016. The concussion symptoms were severe enough to limit him to just 7 AHL games that entire season as he had to focus on recovery and rehab.
What NHL players has Nic Kerdiles played with?
Some current and former NHL players Nic Kerdiles has played with over his career include:
- Ryan Getzlaf
- Corey Perry
- Rickard Rakell
- Jakob Silfverberg
- Ryan Kesler
- David Backes
- Dustin Tokarski
Where does Nic Kerdiles play now?
After splitting the past few seasons between the NHL and AHL, Kerdiles is currently playing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL for the 2021-22 season. He signed a minor league contract with the Penguins after becoming a free agent following the 2020-21 season.
So in summary, Nic Kerdiles is beloved by hockey fans for his exceptional skills, fun personality, inspirational perseverance through adversity, and passionate pursuit of his NHL dream. Despite some setbacks, Kerdiles continues to work tirelessly to make it to the NHL one day. His natural likeability ensures he will remain a fan favorite regardless of where his hockey journey takes him next.