Oct 11, 2012 / 2:00 pm
The Kelowna Rockets will be watching with keen interest an NCAA appeal hearing involving Wisconsin Badger freshman Nic Kerdiles.
Kerdiles, a native of Irvine, CA, was taken in the 8th round of the 2009 bantam draft.
Instead of joining the Rockets, Kerdiles opted for the college route at the University of Wisconsin.
Earlier this week, those plans were put on hold when Kerdiles was suspended one-year for violating NCAA rules.
According to the Badgers blog, Bucky's 5th Quarter, the suspension stems from his relationship with Toronto-based sports agency Pulver Sports.
Rockets Director of Player Personnel and head scout, Lorne Frey, says he believes the hearing will be held next Tuesday.
"I think after that appeal hearing a decision will be made as to where his future lies," says Frey.
"From what you hear it's going to be pretty tough to overturn, but I think the player and his parents are optimistic they have a good chance to get it overturned so it's just a wait and see for us."
Kerdiles, 6'2", 196lb, was a second round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks back in June after leading the US Under 18 Development team in scoring with 22 goals and 26 assists in 54 games.
He also had four goals and five assists in leading the US to the World Under 18 Championship.
According to NCAA rules, if the suspension is upheld, Kerdiles must serve it while remaining at the university meaning he would forego an entire year of top level hockey, something the Ducks would likely not like to see happen to a developing star.
Kerdiles would likely have two options, re-join the US Development Program or join the Rockets.
"I've had a chance to talk to his parents and they're open, but right now they are waiting for the appeal process and after that they'll make a decision," says Frey.
"They are very respective of our organization, they know we have supported him in his decisions to take the route he has. In our conversations earlier we congratulated him on going to school - we were very supportive of that."
Frey says if Kerdiles were to come to Kelowna he would definitely have an impact as a top six forward.
"He's a big power forward, he skates very well and has some good offensive capabilities," says Frey.
He competes well and I think he's more tailor-made for this league. We're hopeful but we'll see what happens."
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