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One Year Later: The Chase De Leo Trade
By Thomas Harrington
One year ago today, the Anaheim Ducks traded Nicolas Kerdiles to Winnipeg for Chase De Leo. One year later, the Ducks are the clear winners in the trade, as once again, Kerdiles has run into major injury issues.
The Ducks selected Kerdiles in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, 36th overall. He spent the next couple of seasons playing for the University of Wisconsin before turning pro at the end of the 2013-2014 season. Kerdiles played first for Norfolk and then for San Diego, as Anaheim’s primary affiliate moved closer to home. Kerdiles finally made his NHL debut in the 2016-2017 season, playing one game for the Ducks and going scoreless. He also played in four playoff games that year and recorded one assist. It looked like he might be about to break into the NHL but only played in two games with the Ducks the following season.
There is one common theme for Kerdiles throughout his career: injuries. Almost every season, he has missed significant time with a wide variety of injuries, and I believe this is the reason why the Ducks decided to move on from him. He’s a highly skilled player, but he just missed too much time to develop properly, and it’s likely that some of his injuries impacted his play on the ice and his development as well.
The Winnipeg Jets selected De Leo in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, 99th overall. De Leo spent one season in the WHL after being drafted, before turning pro in the 2015-2016 season. Most of that year was spent in Manitoba, but he did appear in two games for the Jets as well, going scoreless in the NHL. De Leo put up 40 points as a rookie in the AHL. However, over the next two years, De Leo took a step back, putting up 32 and 35 points, and not appearing in any NHL games. The Jets were ready to move on from their once-promising prospect.
This was a trade of promising prospects who had stalled in their development and could hopefully find their game again in a new environment. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. Over the last year, it absolutely worked for De Leo, but it did not for Kerdiles.
With the Gulls, De Leo played in 66 games and scored 20 goals, 35 assists, and 55 points, all career highs for him. He also played in one game for the Ducks and went scoreless. He led the Gulls in games played, in assists, was second in points, and was tied for second in goals. In the playoffs, he appeared in all 16 games and scored five goals and no assists. The five goals were tied for fourth on the team in postseason scoring. De Leo had a great start to the postseason, with a goal in every single game against San Jose. Unfortunately, he only had one goal against Bakersfield and none against Chicago.
While De Leo was having his best pro season in San Diego, Kerdiles’ time in Manitoba went much differently. He missed Manitoba’s first game of the season but returned for the next three games. In his third game, he recorded an assist, his first point with his new team. Unfortunately, that was the last game he played last season, and it looks like it was the last game of his career. He has announced that he’ll be entering real estate and is no longer playing professional hockey.
A year later, it’s safe to say that Anaheim handily won this trade. De Leo has thrived with the Gulls, while Kerdiles’ career has come to too soon an end because of injuries. The good news is that he seems excited about his new path in life. So even though it’s sad to see his playing days behind him, Kerdiles does seem to be happy.
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June 30th, 2019