Nic Kerdiles, 1994-2023
by Andrew Podnieks|24 SEP 2023
Crimmitschau, Germany: Nick Kerdiles #12 crashes the Suisse net during the preliminary round action at the 2011 IIHF World U18 Championship. (Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Nic Kerdiles, a two-time gold-medal winner with USA’s U18 World Championship team, died in a motorcycle accident at about 3.30am on Saturday in a residential area of Nashville, Tennessee. He was just 29 years old.
Police confirmed that alcohol was not a factor in the accident, but Kerdiles is thought to have gone through a stop sign and ran into the side of another car. He died in hospital a short time after being transferred from the scene of the accident.
His father, Michel, is French and mother, Nathalie, French-Canadian, and although he was born in Texas, Kerdiles spent most of the first six years of his life in France. The family later relocated to Irvine, California, and when Kerdiles made his NHL debut with the Anaheim Ducks on February 22, 2017, he became the first Orange County player to play for the Ducks.
“We’re heartbroken to hear the news about Nic Kerdiles, who died in a motorcycle accident this morning,” the Ducks posted on X, formerly Twitter. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones.”
Kerdiles played for the Los Angeles Selects in midget hockey, and through his fine play was chosen to join the U.S. National Team Development Program in Michigan for the 2010-11 season. He also played at the IIHF’s U18 World Championship in Crimmitschau, where the Americans won gold in overtime against Sweden.
A year later, Kerdiles was a dominant force with the U18 team, leading all players in scoring during the 2011-12 season and then almost single-handedly earning the team a repeat gold at the U18, in the Czech Republic. He had two goals and three assists, and was a +6, in the gold-medal game, a 7-0 rout of the Swedes.
Based on his exceptional play, Kerdiles was drafted 36th overall by Anaheim in the summer of 2012, and that fall he went to the University of Wisconsin to play for the Badgers under coach Mike Eaves. During this time, Kerdiles also played at the 2014 World Junior Championship, again leading the Americans in scoring with seven points in five games.
After two successful seasons at Wisconsin, Kerdiles decided to turn pro and joined Norfolk and then San Diego in the AHL. Two and a half years later, he got the callup to make his NHL debut, a 5-3 home win against Boston.
That was his only appearance that season, and he played two more games with the Ducks a year later, but a longer NHL career wasn’t meant to be. He was traded to Winnipeg prior to the 2018 draft and moved up only as far as their AHL team, the Manitoba Moose. By 2019, Kerdiles had decided to retire. He landed in Nashville selling real estate.
In addition to his parents, Kerdiles leaves behind two sisters, Mailys and Marine.