October 07, 2012
Nicolas Kerdiles' start to his first season with the University of Wisconsin hasn't kicked off very smoothly. The Anaheim Ducks second rounder was deemed ineligible to play in the Badgers' season-opening exhibition game against the National Under-18 Team on Saturday because of eligibility issues with the NCAA.
"This is not even close to what I envisioned for me... God apparently always has a plan for everyone, but I really don't know where he is taking me," said Kerdiles on his Facebook account on Saturday.
For the time being, the NCAA isn't releasing the possible violation done by Kerdiles. However, Andy Johnson of Bucky's 5th quarter seems to have the scoop on this situation.
Badger head coach Mike Eaves didn't have much to share after the game.
"[The NCAA has] been investigating this for a while," Eaves said. It's not in my hands right now. That's between the NCAA and their investigation."
Sources told Bucky's 5th Quarter Saturday night that this has been an ongoing situation, and that the Badgers have been aware of it for months.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Kerdiles' relationship with advisors from Pulver Sports has been called into question.
Chris Peters of The United States of Hockey elaborated on the possible severity of the situation.
According to the source, the sanctions could be as severe as a yearlong suspension, wiping out Kerdiles's freshman season and a year of development should he choose to stay in school.
There has been real concern from the NCAA regarding potential recruiting violations committed over social media. I was unable to find any instances of student-athletes being sanctioned for anything more than tweeting at potential recruits, for which their institutions got in more trouble than the actual players. Kerdiles's situation may be unprecedented.
Wisconsin is still working with the NCAA to clear Kerdiles to play, but based on Eaves's comments, it's all still up in the air.
What violation Kerdiles made seems to be fairly foggy. It's just known that his relationship with Pulver Sports and his comments on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook may have something to do with his ineligibility to play college hockey.
If it comes to the NCAA suspending him for the entire season, Kerdiles will have to look to Plan B. He can't afford to sit out his entire 18-year-old season. It is too crucial of a year for his road to the NHL.
The Texas native could play in the USHL or the WHL. In the USHL, it is believed that Kerdiles is a free agent. The Kelowna Rockets hold his rights in the Dub.
Kerdiles, who scored 22 goals and 48 points in 54 games last year with the National U-18 Team, would fit in nicely in the WHL's rough-and-tumble style of play. The forward has a towering 6-foot-2, 196-pound frame and excels in the tight areas of the game.
One can assume Rockets GM Bruce Hamilton will be in contact with Kerdiles very shortly, if not already. If he is able to sign Kerdiles, he should definitely send the NCAA a thank you letter.
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen