Phil Kessel, the 17-year-old hockey phenom who plays for the Ann Arbor-based U.S. National Team Development Program, may be leaning toward Minnesota over Wisconsin and Michigan as his college choice. Kessel's father, Phil Kessel Sr., a former Northern Michigan quarterback, told the Wisconsin State Journal his son hadn't yet made up his mind.
"It's truly up in the air," he said.
The U.S. program will have a teleconference Friday to announce Kessel's decision.
Kessel, a 6-foot, 185-pound forward from Madison, Wis., could also choose to skip college entirely and instead play for the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League. The Spirit own his draft rights. Kessel has family in the Saginaw area.
Red Line Report, an independent scouting service, rates Kessel the top pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Kessel is considered the next great American pro prospect.
He currently leads the U.S. under-18 team in goals (30), assists (28), points (58), power play goals (11), short-handed goals (4) and game-winning goals (8) in 31 games.
By George Sipple, Detroit Free Press