Phil Kessel

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Pcity84, Apr 4, 2004.

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  1. Pcity84

    Pcity84 Registered User

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    I heard from a guy that Kessel's top three college choices were Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan. Can anybody offer any insight to whether this is true? And if true, is he leading towards one way or the other? I also heard he is 50-50 right now between heading to college or playing in canadian juniors.
     
  2. SpaceGhost79

    SpaceGhost79 Registered User

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    I know Michigan has been making a push for him. When U-M played the US Under-18 Team, I believe Kessel had been called up and played for the US squad and some of the Michigan fans had brought signs that said "WE WANT KESSEL!" to try and sway him. A few Michigan players made sure after the game that Kessel saw the sign. I think the fans did it again when Kessel was in attendance at a game back in February.

    If I had to pick, I'd say Wisconsin right now just because Kessel is from Madison and they are the hometown team, but really that's just a guess.
     
  3. X-SHARKIE

    X-SHARKIE Registered User

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    I have played with Phil Kessel.... Me and Nathan Lawrence still stay in touch....He obviosly likes Wisconsin for the home town reasons, but Michigan is the one really going for him. Also North Dakota is making a strong bid.

    Michigan,North Dakota, Wisconsin, I wouldnt expect Minnesota.

    Kessel is the best American born player i've seen since Roenick.
     
  4. Spectacular_Bid

    Spectacular_Bid Registered User

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    Rumor is that Kessel's choices are between Michigan and Minnesota. Wisconsin is out of the picture because Kessel's teammate Jack Skille committed there and Kessel isn't to fond of Skille. Michigan has the best shot since Kessel's cousin David Moss plays for the Wolverines. Kessel attributes his cousin Dave for getting him interested in hockey. So, Michigan looks to be in the lead but Minnesota is close behind, I would doubt it if he went somewhere other than these two schools........if he actually goes to school. The other possibility is that Kessel goes to Saginaw in the OHL. Saginaw is putting on the full court press to sign Kessel and it sounds Phil is seriously considering it. Rumor is Kessel has family that lives in the Saginaw area. It should be interesting to see what happens.
     
  5. Funkymoses

    Funkymoses Registered User

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    apparently the chances of Kessel ending up in the OHL dropped considerably when Moe Mantha wouldn't relocate to Saginaw and thus didn't get hired by them to coach. What I've heard. I've also heard it's more of a UW-Michigan battle but that's conjecture.
     
  6. VOB

    VOB Registered User

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    Last I heard it was 50-50 as to whether he would play in the OHL or not. Saginaw not renewing Moe's contract will actually help that organization lure Kessel as he and his father were not to impressed with Moe. Bob Mancini, new Saginaw G.M. (one of the original founders of the NTDP) is indeed pulling out all the stop in an attempt to sign Kessel.

    If he does go the college route, he will be playing for Michigan, you can almost bank on it.
     
  7. SpaceGhost79

    SpaceGhost79 Registered User

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    Well this maize n' blue fan sure hopes he ends up in Ann Arbor. For Red Berenson to have Kessel, Andrew Cogliano, and Jack Johnson all coming in about the same time, all I could say is wow!
     
  8. AJ1982

    AJ1982 Registered User

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    might end up being an even better recruiting class then when Red got Ortmeyer, Hilbert, Shouneyia and Cammalleri (not to mention Mark Mink) all in one year.
     
  9. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    I have heard that Kessel is mainly interested in Michigan and Minnesota too. I heard he isn't very interested in Wisconsin and I think some guess that Wisconsin is on his list just because he is from the area. But I hear that is not really true. I have never heard of North Dakota even being a realistic option so I really doubt that.

    Since he is still a way off before he would be in college, he will have plenty of time to thing about it. A lot of things can change. I would wonder how much his cousin will have to do with it when he will be out of school by the time Kessel goes to college anyway.

    I would also wonder how Berenson's attitude about players going pro before they graduate will play into this choice. Kessel is highly likely to be going pro before he graduates college. You can't expect a player with his talent to stay all four years in college. You'd think he'd want to have a coach that would fully support him in such a decision as opposed to a coach who vehemently disagrees with players leaving college early.
     
  10. Daniel_Tkaczuk

    Daniel_Tkaczuk Registered User

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    When I spoke with him in Newfoundland he had a favorite, but declined to comment so if he changed his mind he wouldn't look bad. He still hadn't ruled out going to Saginaw either.
     
  11. AJ1982

    AJ1982 Registered User

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    We sure can, I think it's a shame so many players decide to leave early, many of them who do leave early end up spending 3 or 4 years in the minor anyways. Staying the whole for years certainly didn't hurt guys like Morrison or Knuble.

    Anyhow, Berenson might not like players leaving early but he does understand in most cases how tempting NHL teams make it to leave. I don't see that being a factor in where Kessel decides to go, most coaches are against their players leaving early, Red's just a little more vocal than most. It's not like he condemns them as if they've commited a mortal sin. I actually thought he did well keeping himself in check when he got shafted by Komisarek a couple years ago.
     
  12. db23

    db23 Guest

    Actually, Red said he understood Komisarek's reasons, but was P.O.ed at Cammallari. I think Komisarek needed the money to help his parents out or something. As for Kessel, he is very slight, (160 pounds), so he is likely to be around for a year or so longer than his talent would dictate.
     
  13. Funkymoses

    Funkymoses Registered User

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    I think if that was really an issue it would have come up by now. Berenson's still recruiting the kinds of guys who leave early, and early departures, in most cases, are very welcome to return for the alumni game, etc. Now if you tell Red one thing and do another on the eve of the season, well...
     
  14. SpaceGhost79

    SpaceGhost79 Registered User

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    As said, he really wasn't shafted by Komisarek and he understood and supported his decision. I think it has more to do with the way some of the players have gone about their business than anything. Cammalleri basically didn't let them in that he was planning on leaving, then called one day late in the summer and said see ya. Same thing last year with Danny Richmond pulling an 11th hour move and not telling the coaches, thus leaving them and the team hanging dry. You could easily tell Berenson was PO'ed about the way Danny went about his business because I don't think Red ever said one word about it in the media, and they never even issued a press release on the Michigan hockey website saying Richmond was gone. It was like he vanished off the face of the earth for all they cared.

    I think if more players were up front with their intentions...just saying something simple like "Coach, I'm going to explore my pro options this summer" to give him a heads up...I don't think he would be as vocal about the subject as he is sometimes. Komisarek didn't have any problems, same with Jeff Jillson, Andy Hilbert (he played in the U-M alumni game about 2 days after announcing his pro intentions), and I wanna say Mike Comrie, too.
     
  15. AJ1982

    AJ1982 Registered User

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    Berenson didn't like the fact Cammaleri negotiated all summer long and was simply trying to get more money. He understood Komisarek's situation. They both, however, left at around the same time. and I specificallt remember Red was miffed, despite understanding the situation, because Komisarek's leaving was rather unexpected and he hadn't had time to recruit a defenseman to replace him. Luckily Richmond panned out the way he did and other's filled the void left by Komo.

    http://www.uscho.com/news/2002/08/05_004491.php
     
  16. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    Read Berenson's comments in this article:

    http://www.freep.com/sports/umich/pmich31_20040331.htm

    Not exactly what I would call a coach who seems supportive of a player faced with a decision like this.

    Isn't it a little hypocritical on Berenson's part to recruit kids he knows are likely to leave early? Berenson is clearly intelligent enough to know that a number of the kids he recruits are good bets to leave early yet he makes such a fuss when guys do it. If he is so against it, why not just recruit guys he feels very comfortable about staying all four years? It sort of seems like self serving comments on his part to be so against it yet recruiting guys who are likely to make such decisions.

    Maybe this won't play a part with Kessel's final choice but it is likely to be something he thinks about.
     
  17. Funkymoses

    Funkymoses Registered User

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    I've already read that article and if you think it reveals a coach who doesn't support his players we come from different planets and probably shouldn't bother continuing this conversation.
     
  18. db23

    db23 Guest

    Red's comments are bang on, and if you look at the players who did leave early, none really cracked an NHL lineup in a meaningful way prior to their scheduled graduation date. Richmond is riding the busses in the OHL, Komisarek and Cammallari are bouncing back and forth between the NHL and AHL and spare parts in the NHL, Jillson and Hilbert aren't doing much better. Comrie is the only exception, he played regularly with the Oilers in what would have been his senior season. Van Ryn is only breaking through as an NHL regular this year, at the age of 24 and soon to be 25.
     
  19. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    How do you figure he "supports" a player that decides to leave early? I can read english and it is pretty apparent that he doesn't support such decisions.

    Seems to me, he supports them when it goes along with what he wants them to do but when it is something they want to do, he may not be there to pat them on the back.

    You also didn't respond to my comment about how Berenson recruits. If it is such a big deal to him that players stay, why recruit the kinds of players where it is a real possibility of them leaving early? Isn't he setting himself up for disappointment by doing this?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2004
  20. VOB

    VOB Registered User

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    Its called a signing bonus. Can you blame Komo, Cammy and Jillson for leaving early since they all received a million dollars to do so. Another poster here mentioned this once and I will repeat it; when asked why he left college so early, Bill Guerin replied " I have the rest of my life to finish college but only ten or so years to play pro hockey". That pretty much sums it up for most players who have a legit shot at playing in the NHL some day.
     
  21. AJ1982

    AJ1982 Registered User

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    I'll answer this as well.

    First, all Red is doing IS supporting his players. He believes that staying college is the best place for them to be. He feels in the long run they will have better success in the pro's if they do AND they will be more involved with the college tradition. Guys like Morrison and Muckalt are legends of the prestigious Michigan hockey program, and they achieved that because they stayed in school and played the full 4 years. So really, Red is just supporting the way that he feels is best for his players, he feels he is trying to help them choose what is best for their own interests. Just looking at the article I think all that is apparent. He does not support their decision to leave early, but that is because he supports them doing what he believes is best for them, not because he does not support them.

    As for why does he recruit guys who are good enough to go pro one or two years in? Come on, who wouldn't? Those are the guys that make a great hockey team and if he didn't get those types the hockey program would not be at the top for long. You need to have that talent in today's NCAA hockey.
     
  22. db23

    db23 Guest

    Granted, the money is NOT insignificant. But if you follow that line of thought through, why did these players choose to go to college in the first place? If getting the money ASAP was their prime consideration, why not play major junior where they would be eligible for the big bucks at least a year earlier. Take that line of reasoning a bit further and why would kids even bother to go to high school? They could be working full time at MacDonalds or something, and be a manager before they were 20?
     
  23. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    I agree completely with you. It is smart to recruit these types of players. But that is also why I think Berenson ought to shut his mouth and quit crying about players leaving early. If he is going to go out and recruit a player with that kind of talent, he has to be realistic about the fact that a decent number of them are going to leave early. Otherwise, if he is so concerned about players leaving early, don't go out and recruit the type of player where that is a big possibility.

    Naturally, no coach wants to lose their best talent but Berenson seems to be the only coach who continually acts like it is a mortal sin for a player to leave. I see Blais, Lucia, York and other top coaches reluctantly live with it and support their guys but Red whines.

    Somehow I don't think these Michigan players that leave early and end up in the minors are dying of starvation just cause they left Red. They got a good payday and can always finish their education if needed. It seems to me Red doesn't like players leaving because it hurts HIM and makes his job more difficult. Not because it hurts the player.
     
  24. VOB

    VOB Registered User

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    You know db23; I have often wondered the same thing myself. Did Guerin and Tkatcuk really think they would spend four full years in college? I don't think so. I think the same can be said for Heatley and Parise. The fact of the matter is that the high-end prospects are not in the NCAA to earn a degree but rather to develop for the next level and the sooner the better. So why did they even bother going the college route to begin with?

    Of course if you look deeper into it the question may indeed have an answer, albeit a weak one. Many of the high-end college players tend to be on the smaller side, unlike say their bigger and more physical Major A counter-parts. Like it or not, a lack of size is a strike against you in the NHL. A smaller skilled players has a much more difficult time proving himself and then succeeding in the NHL in comparison to an equally skilled larger player. A smallish 16 year old knows this and feels that he is not yet ready to take the physical punishment that comes with playing Major A. A year of two in a much less competitive and grueling Junior A league is what he may need to become more physically mature. By the time he is 18 he more than ready to take on the NCAA and surprises everyone by being one of the nation's best players. This now attracts serious attention from the NHL brass that previously viewed as nothing more than a potential mid level prospect in an inferior Junior A or prep league. Agents scramble to sign him and tell him that he is now a front line NHL prospect. Assured a significant sum of money, college merely becomes an after thought.

    The above scenario of course does not work very well when discussing larger players with an equal amount of talent. This perhaps explains why top end players like Bobby Ryan and Robbie Schremp never really gave the NCAA route much serious consideration. Phil Kessel is a smaller player and his size may influence the decision he makes. Of course the success that both Daniel Briere and Steve Sullivan are enjoying in the NHL does prove that smaller players can and do succeed in Major A and go on to have very good NHL careers.

    Oh by the way, your analogy of a McD's manager job does not come close to comparing with a job that has a million dollar signing bonus. If my son had a rare ability to trade stocks and was offered a 250 000 dollar signing bonus to come and work for Goldman Sachs and earn a 100 000 dollars a year, I think I would advise him to forget about his senior year in high school and go for it!
     
  25. db23

    db23 Guest

    I think a lot of them just want to cover the bases and mollify their parents. Most NCAA recruits (at least the best of them) commit a good 2 years before the draft. Chris Higgins was ranked as the 150th best North American prospect when he left Avon Old Farms for Yale. The following year he was the 9th best. But when he was 17 years old, 5-10 and 175 pounds as a high school senior, a pro career must have looked pretty remote. Eric Himelfarb, another Hab draft pick who is about the same age and size chose the other route. He was highly recruited by several top schools as a 16 year old in Ontario, but chose to go to the OHL. He was still there this season at the age of 21 in what would have been his junior or senior college year. He has only an amateur tryout contract to show for his decision.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Apr 5, 2004
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