In a devastating turn of events, Nic Kerdiles, the beloved former Anaheim Ducks forward and Orange County native, lost his life in a motorcycle accident. This heart-wrenching incident occurred in the early hours of a Saturday morning in Nashville, Tennessee, leaving the sports world in mourning. Kerdiles was just 29 years old.
According to the Nashville police, the accident unfolded when Kerdiles failed to stop at a residential area stop sign while riding his Indian Motorcycle. The collision that followed involved a BMW SUV, resulting in this tragic loss.
Kerdiles was not just a sports icon but also made appearances on the reality TV show “Chrisley Knows Best” alongside his former fiancé, Savannah Chrisley. In the wake of his passing, Chrisley took to social media to share cherished memories of their time together, including playful moments captured on a beach. Her poignant words, “We loved hard,” reflect the deep connection they shared, with a hopeful vision of reuniting in the afterlife.
Their love story began in 2017, leading to an engagement in 2019, but sadly, the relationship concluded in 2020. Despite the challenges they faced, their bond remained a significant part of both their lives.
The Anaheim Ducks, the team where Kerdiles made his mark, expressed their grief in a statement, extending their condolences to his family and loved ones. The Ducks organization shares in the sorrow of losing a talented player and cherished member of their community.
Kerdiles was born on January 11, 1994, in Lewisville, Texas, a Dallas suburb. His parents, Michel and Nathalie, met in France during their business school years, eventually settling in Orange County with young Nic. His journey into hockey began when a neighbor introduced him to roller hockey. After immersing himself in this sport for a year and a half, Kerdiles transitioned to ice hockey, driven by his passion for the game and a relentless work ethic.
He attended Beckman High in Irvine for his freshman and sophomore years, then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to join the U.S. national team development program. During his time there, Kerdiles showcased his skills, contributing 16 goals and 17 assists in 50 games over two seasons.
The Anaheim Ducks recognized his potential and selected him in the second round of the 2012 NHL draft, making him the 36th overall pick. Kerdiles continued to excel, registering 26 goals and 45 assists in 60 games while playing for Wisconsin. His remarkable performance earned him a spot on the Big Ten Second All-Star Team during his sophomore season in 2013-14.
Taking the leap to the professional league after the 2013-14 college season, Kerdiles began his journey with the Norfolk Admirals, the Ducks’ AHL affiliate. He quickly made an impact, scoring one goal and assisting on three others in six regular-season games, followed by three goals and one assist in 10 games during the 2014 Calder Cup playoffs.
Kerdiles continued to shine in the 2014-15 season with nine goals and 17 assists in 51 games for the Admirals. Subsequently, the team relocated to San Diego as part of the AHL’s Pacific Division expansion. In their inaugural AHL season in San Diego, Kerdiles impressed once more with 15 goals and 12 assists in 45 games.
However, his career took a turn when he suffered a concussion during a rookie game in September 2016, following a hit by Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov. This injury sidelined him until January 2017. Despite the setback, Kerdiles demonstrated resilience, recording four goals and five assists in just 10 games.
Finally, on February 22, 2017, Kerdiles realized his dream by making his NHL debut for the Anaheim Ducks in a thrilling 5-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. As he stepped onto the ice at the Honda Center, the magnitude of the moment struck him. He expressed his awe, saying, “I put my helmet back on, and I kind of looked around and went, ‘Wow. It’s Honda Center. I’m here right now, and this is unbelievable.'”
During that game, Kerdiles played with dedication, spending 11 minutes and eight seconds on the ice over 17 shifts. Although he didn’t score or take a shot, he contributed with a plus-1 plus/minus. The game included memorable goals, such as Rickard Rakell’s second- and third-period goals for the Ducks.
However, Kerdiles was later reassigned to the Gulls, marking the beginning of a transition period in his career. His last appearances in the NHL occurred in October 2017, where he played two games without registering any points.
On June 30, 2018, the Ducks traded Kerdiles to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for center Chase De Leo. Unfortunately, his hockey journey concluded during the 2018-19 season when he played just three games for the Manitoba Moose, the Jets’ AHL affiliate.
Nic Kerdiles left an indelible mark on the world of hockey and touched the hearts of many with his talent and dedication. His legacy lives on in the memories of those who knew and admired him, and he will be dearly missed by the sports community and fans worldwide.
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