With the influx of high quality American prospects in recent years and success at the development level, it’s not surprising to see a fair crop of prospects with quality potential getting drafted in the first round. Nicolas Kerdiles, a member of the US NTDP, is one of those players who could make his way into the first round and be an NHLer down the road.

Kerdiles is a big kid cut in the classic high motor power forward. He’s not going to be the biggest or strongest player on the ice, but his in-game work ethic will be the attribute which carries him into a professional role.

Vitals

Height: 6’2

Weight: 200

Position: Left Winger

Born: January 11, 1994

What people in the know know

Danton Cole, NTDP Head Coach via The Hockey Writers

“Nic has had a great first half of his second year with the NTDP. His game has become faster and stronger and he is becoming a ‘200 foot player’ that can dominate both ends of the ice. He scores goals in the dirty areas and uses his speed well to separate himself from defenders on offense and close on defense. It has been fun to see him excel in NCAA DI games and it shows that he will not miss a beat when he moves on to the University of Wisconsin.”

Trent Klatt, Islanders Player Development

Nicolas Kerdiles is a big, strong-skating forward. He has good skill and a nose for the net. Nicolas is not afraid of traffic areas, and can play center or wing.

The Hockey News

To follow Kerdiles’ history, you need an atlas. The son of French parents, Kerdiles was born in Texas, spent time in France and lived his formative years in California. Now he’s in Michigan with the NTDP and the program couldn’t be happier.

“He and Stefan Matteau were their best forwards this year,” said one scout. “I like the way he attacks, the way he goes to the net and engages.”

Built in a power forward mold, Kerdiles has a pro-style game and led the NTDP team in scoring. His size and speed intimidate defenders, as do his strength on the puck when he goes into corners or bullies his way to the front of the net for gritty goals.

Yet some have complained about his night-to-night performances.

“When I saw him, he was just OK,” said one talent evaluator.

Another scout believes the University of Wisconsin commit must cut down his shifts since his all-out play leaves him gassed on the backcheck.

From the horse’s mouth

I suppose I’m going out on a limb here but I expect Kerdiles to go in the first round. Whenever you get a player with solid work ethic and big frame, they’re much more prone to being a reach than falling down the board and at 33 on the list he’s on the cusp of being a first rounder as it is.

You can’t teach size and this kid has it, with speed and a motor to boot.