Saturday the Anaheim Ducks announced the signing of Irvine, CA native Nic Kerdiles to a three-year, two-way entry-level contract; Kerdiles leaves behind his remaining two years of eligibility at Wisconsin to join the Ducks’ AHL team, the Norfolk Admirals, for the rest of the season before potentially joining the NHL team next season.
This season alone Kerdiles netted 15 goals and 23 assists in just 28 games and ranks fifth in the country in points per game. While success in the transition between college and pro is always a debatable one, the Ducks know a things or two about raising rookies, whether it be through their farm system or straight into the NHL.
Part of the reason Anaheim survived an injury-laden roster at the onset of the season to now lead the Pacific Division is the ability they have in both Norfolk and in Anaheim to develop players to succeed at the highest level. Former AHL players Pat Maroon and Sami Vatanen have both seen success this season at an NHL level; Maroon has made a name for himself scoring gritty goals in necessary seconds and Vatanen won the bronze medal with Team Finland in the Olympics.
In fact, Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau has had the tough decisions of sending players down to the AHL level this season who are more than capable at succeeding on bigger ice simply because the Ducks’ roster is so deep this year.
If Boudreau should find a place for Krediles with the Ducks at the start of next season his offensive ability could help fill any void veteran Teemu Selanne‘s retirement is sure to initially leave. And Krediles can look no further than the outstanding job Anaheim has done with raising blue liner Cam Fowler at the top level for hopes of his own potential success.
While Fowler has had a fair share of struggles since his debut with the Ducks in 2010, his game has finally found it’s traction this season after he shared concerns with Boudreau in an exit interview last year and changes were made. The great thing for Kerdiles is in Anaheim he will have a voice that is heard.
Kerdiles will certainly have to fight for any spot in Anaheim considering the bursting talent this team always seems to have at hand. However, he could not have made a better move for the future of his career than coming back home to California.