ANAHEIM, Calif.—Nic Kerdiles, the first player from Orange County to play for the Anaheim Ducks, was killed in a motorcycle accident early Sept. 23 morning in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 29.
Nashville police told local reporters that Mr. Kerdiles ran through a stop sign in a residential area while on his Indian Motorcycle at around 3:30 a.m. and slammed into the driver's side of a BMW SUV.
Mr. Kerdiles also appeared on the reality TV show "Chrisley Knows Best" with his former fiancé Savannah Chrisley.
In response to Mr. Kerdiles's death, Ms. Chrisley posted pictures on social media of them frolicking on a beach.
"We loved hard," she wrote. "I can't wait to ride bikes with you along the beaches of heaven one day."
The two began dating in 2017, became engaged in 2019, and ended the relationship in 2020.
The Ducks posted a statement on X, saying "We're heartbroken to hear the news about Nic Kerdiles ... Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones."
Mr. Kerdiles was born in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, Texas Jan. 11, 1994. His parents, Michel and Nathalie, had met in France when they were both in business school, and briefly returned there when Mr. Kerdiles was a child, then settled in Orange County.
Mr. Kerdiles was inspired to begin playing roller hockey by a neighbor who played. After a year and a half playing roller hockey, Mr. Kerdiles began playing ice hockey.
"I watched it on TV and loved the game, and I just wanted to keep advancing," Mr. Kerdiles said in a 2017 interview with Ducks's team's website. "I wasn't the best player, but I worked hard and eventually progressed."
Mr. Kerdiles attended Beckman High in Irvine as a freshman and sophomore, then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to play in the U.S. national team development program.
The left wing scored 16 goals and assisted on 17 others in 50 games over two seasons with the national team development program, then was chosen by the Ducks in the second round of the 2012 NHL draft, the 36th overall selection.
Mr. Kerdiles scored 26 goals and assisted 45 others in 60 games with Wisconsin and was selected to the Big Ten Second All-Star Team as a sophomore in the 2013–14 season.
Mr. Kerdiles turned pro following the 2013–14 college season, scoring one goal and assisting on three others in six regular-season games with the Norfolk Admirals, then the Ducks's American Hockey League affiliate, and had three goals and one assist in 10 games in the 2014 Calder Cup playoffs.
Mr. Kerdiles had nine goals and 17 assists in 51 games for the Admirals in the 2014–15 season. The team moved to San Diego the following season as part of the AHL's establishment of its Pacific Division. Mr. Kerdiles had 15 goals and 12 assists in 45 goals in the Gulls' first AHL season.
Mr. Kerdiles suffered a concussion when he was hit by Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov in a rookie game in September 2016, and was sidelined until January 2017. Mr. Kerdiles had four goals and five assists in 10 games and was recalled by the Ducks on Feb. 22, 2017. He made his NHL debut that night in a 5–3 victory over the Boston Bruins.
Following the singing of the national anthem, Mr. Kerdiles said, "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."
"Believe it or not, when I first stepped on the ice for warmups, I didn't look around at all, but after the anthem I looked around and thought, 'This is pretty crazy.'"
Mr. Kerdiles played 11 minutes, eight seconds over 17 shifts. He was scoreless and didn't take a shot, but had a plus-1 plus/minus. He was on the ice when Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo opened the scoring 9:02 into the game as well Rickard Rakell's second- and third-period goals for the Ducks.
Mr. Kerdiles was reassigned to the Gulls two days later and didn't play again for the Ducks until October 2017 when he was scoreless in two games in what would be his final NHL appearances.
Kerdiles was traded by the Ducks to the Winnipeg Jets on June 30, 2018, in exchange for center Chase De Leo.
Kerdiles' hockey career ended in the 2018–19 season when he played three games for the Manitoba Moose, the Jets' AHL affiliate.