To be honest I wasn't planning on writing this before the game, but after I knew I had to spread the word. Nic Kerdiles is going to be a force in the NHL. Bank on it.
I was only able to attend the Friday game (colleges usually have games Fridays and Saturdays) but I was still able to get a good read on both players.
Friday stats: Kerdiles 2 assists, Besse 1 Goal
Saturday: Kerdiles 1 Goal, Besse 1GW Goal (2)
First there's Besse. He's played two games of college hockey so what is there really to say? He played on the third line and got some time on the second PP unit. I didn't notice him all too much but he did score twice this weekend. Besse seems to be a decent skater but still has a lot to learn before he's a big contributor to the Badgers. I'll be sure to watch him more as the season goes on.
Now what you've all been waiting for.. Nic Kerdiles. This kid just knows how to play the game of hockey. He's a quick skater and is everywhere on the ice. Created multiple chances 1 on 1 and made some pretty slick passes under pressure. Kerdiles played on the second line, first PP unit and even the PK. Basically he reminded me of an Emerson Etem. However, a few things really stood out to me. The kid is extremely coachable. After every shift he would be talking to a coach trying to work on his game. I see this as a huge plus when he gets to the pro level. Also, the kid blocks shots- lots of them. He is the primary high skater on the PK. Kerdiles has the speed to keep up with passes along the blue line and isn't afraid to give up the body on shots. Oh and the best part... HE MOVED TO CENTER. Kerdiles played solely as the 1lw last year but apparently Coach Eaves wanted a change. He now anchors the second line and is doing a great job (suck it Bobby). If this experiment pays off who knows what it could mean to the organization. Basically he can be used in any situation and play on any line.
All in all, if one thing is for certain it's that these kids ooze confidence. Kerdiles, for one, is playing like he's riding a wrecking ball. I think this can be attributed to the rookie camp held earlier this summer. These players couldn't attend the rookie series against the kings but it didn't seem to hinder their performance. Hopefully both players continue to grow through the season and maybe I'll even learn how to write a decent update. Hope this was a good read! GO DUCKS