Kessel Narrows Field to Four
Nate Ewell and Jess Myers
is North America's most coveted recruit –
for both colleges and the OHL.
has narrowed his list of possible college destinations to four,
but the OHL isn't backing down in its pursuit of the the nation's
most coveted recruit.
Kessel said Saturday, is "not really in the mix any more,"
leaving Boston University, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin as
his top four choices.
in Minneapolis with the U.S. Under-18 Team to face the Gophers,
and he posted two goals and two assists in a 7-5 loss.
the Saginaw News ran two stories on Kessel in Sunday's
edition, as the OHL's Saginaw Spirit continued to push for Kessel's
services. The Spirit, whose general manager/coach is former college
hockey player and coach Bob Mancini, selected Kessel in the fourth
round of the 2003 OHL draft.
admitted that the Spirit's chances with Kessel were remote –
the recruit told Inside College Hockey last summer "I’m
going to go to college" and hasn't altered that thinking
but Mancini isn't giving up.
hockey better for Phil than our league?" Mancini said to
the News. "It is a bit naive of the family to think
that (he'll dominate the OHL). He'd have to do it over a 68-game
schedule with no open ice like he'll see in college –
there is no (center) red line (in the NCAA). I think just the
opposite will happen if he plays in college. He'll dominate more.
he'll play 36 games, tops, in college against less-skilled players
overall. This argument is not about what's better, the NCAA or
major junior. It's always been for me about what's the best for
to say that Red Berenson, Mike Eaves, Don Lucia and Jack Parker
fall on the other side of that argument.
With his team's
trip to Minneapolis, Kessel has now visited all four schools he's
considering, at least unofficially. He's made official visits
to Wisconsin and Minnesota, played at BU in January, and may make
an official visit to Michigan this weekend, with the Ann Arbor-based
Under-18 Team traveling across town to play at Yost Saturday night.
have a precise timetable for his decision, but doesn't want to
wait too long.
coming up soon," he said. "I really haven't decided,
but I can't keep the colleges waiting. I still don't know where
I want to go. It's a lot harder to decide than I thought it would