Wisconsin men’s hockey uphed its reputation of creating quality pro prospects on Saturday when two current men’s hockey players and one incoming player were selected in this weekend’s National Hockey League Draft.
Incoming freshman forward Nicolas Kerdiles was the first Badger off the board when he was selected in the second round, No. 36 overall by the Anaheim Ducks. The Irvine, Calif. native, who lives a short distance from the Honda Center where the Ducks call home, was the leading scorer on the USA U-18 team that brought home the gold at the 2012 IIHF World Championships.
Defenseman Jake McCabe was selected later in the second round when the Buffalo Sabres picked him with the 44th overall pick. McCabe is coming off a freshman campaign that got off to a late start due to a hand injury. He finished the season with three goals and nine assists in 26 games.
With the addition of McCabe, 13 Badgers have now been selected in the first or second round of the draft during the tenure of head coach Mike Eaves. Of the previous 12 players, only Blake Geffrion has donned the white and cardinal sweater for all four seasons of eligibility.
Brendan Woods also got the call on Saturday when he was picked up by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fifth round, No. 129 overall. The soon to be sophomore forward skated in 34 games and tallied five goals and five assists.
Woods has stated that he plans to return to UW next season.
Last season, 22 former Badgers skated in at least one NHL game. Only Michigan had more alumni (23) in the league.