Originally posted at the Hockey Writers Combine
The University of Wisconsin Badgers fan base got some great news today, as they found out that their highly touted incoming freshman forward Nic Kerdiles will be staying at the University of Wisconsin and will not be bolting for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, who own his rights.
If Kerdiles had decided to bolt to the Western Hockey League – instead of serving his eight game suspension – he would have been eligible to play immediately for the Rockets.
This is a “huge” win for college hockey fans, but also college hockey in general, which over the past two years has suffered through the loss of some highly touted blue chip recruits and players, who bolted the CHL.
As a college hockey fan, it is a breath of fresh air to see a kid like Kerdiles’ stature happy to be a student at the University of Wisconsin and now have one foot out the door already. Kerdiles said as much today during the press conference.
"To be the best student-athlete I can be and work toward my degree at a great university,” Kerdiles said.
It also looks like there wasn’t a lot of doubt in Kerdiles’ mind where he wanted to be and he is proud to be part of the Wisconsin Badgers hockey team.
"I'm so glad to be able to call myself a Badger and to continue doing so,” Kerdiles said. "There was never a doubt" he would remain with the Badgers. It was an easy decision for my family and I."
It also sounds like the head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers Mike Eaves is also very relieved to have this problem behind him and that he will not have to worry about his blue chip forward bolting to the WHL or anywhere else.
"I'm glad we're going to put this behind us and move forward," Eaves said. "When he gets back in there, we'll have an impact player in our lineup"
Kerdiles is eligible to return to the Badgers lineup on November 9th, 2012 when they play the Denver Pioneers at Magness Arena in Denver, Colorado. Kerdiles already has November 30th, 2012 circled on his calendar.
When the Badgers finally get Kerdiles back in the lineup from his 10 game suspension – it will be like a team getting a free agent player at the trade deadline or a players returning from injury reserve after a long term injury. But for now, the Badgers Kerdiles will just have to sit and wait.