Thursday, August 17, 2006

Kessel to sign with Bruins

Just when it looked like the NHL wouldn't have any draftees from the 2006 entry draft playing in the league this season, news comes from ESPN's E.J. Hradek early this morning that Phil Kessel will forego his final three years of college hockey to sign with the Boston Bruins.

The enigmatic Wisconsin native posted impressive totals last year in his first NCAA campaign, notching 18 goals and 51 points with the University of Minnesota. (As a somewhat relevant comparison, Dany Heatley had 28 goals and 56 points in his first college campaign, although he didn't join the NHL until after his second season.)

Kessel will turn 19 a few days prior to the start of the 2006-07 season and could make an impact offensively if he finds a spot on the Bruins top two lines. Of course, he will still have to make the team, and the possibility remains the youngster will play in the AHL next year.


At 2:47 a.m., August 17, 2006, Blogger Achtungbaby said...

Tough nut to crack. This guy was once the overwhelming can't-miss first overall pick and then dropped so dramatically. He's still gold in most of my online leagues, but absolutely garbage in others.

At 2:00 p.m., August 17, 2006, Anonymous Brad said...

I don't think he's ready for the NHL personally and could use another year at Minnesota where he'd be the top-line guy playing in all situations. I think he ends up playing in the AHL, to his surprise.

At 4:11 p.m., August 17, 2006, Blogger jmol2112 said...

I don't know him personally, but from reading reports and seeing him interviewed it wouldn't surprise me if he turns out to be a dressing room distraction if things don't go well/will butt heads with management at some point if they try to demote him/not play him on the top lines

At 9:31 p.m., August 18, 2006, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Damnit. Not only do I think he could have used another year at Minnesota, we really could have used him. That's four underclassmen who bolted this year, all forwards. We're going to be missing a lot of scoring.

As for in the locker room, I never heard a thing about him being a negative there from anyone on campus.


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