CBJ.com will profile one of the top-10 draft prospects each day for the next 10 days leading up to the draft on Saturday, June 24. The Jackets select sixth in the NHL Draft. Click here
to see the Draft History of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Birthdate: October 2, 1987
2005-06 Club: University of Minnesota (USA)
Nickname is Thrill … favorite NHL player is Colorado’s Joe Sakic … wears #26 because #8 is retired … says that his parents have had the greatest influence on his career because “they have taken me to all of my hockey events when I was younger” … most memorable hockey game played was the Under-18 game vs. Czech Republic … favorite TV show is Friends … favorite movies are Rounders and Boondock Saints … favorite musician is Tim McGraw.
Central Scouting Report:
Is a very fast and quick skater who often surprises opponents with an extra gear … with outstanding breakaway speed he can carry the puck and separate himself from pursuers in an instant and can turn an opponent inside out one-on-one … has a heavy accurate shot and very quick hands when releasing his wrist shot at top speed … can beat a goaltender in many ways and is an excellent passer and play-maker who can find his man in traffic or open ice with ease … has the ability to go end-to-end and bring fans to the edge of their seats … is excellent on the power-play and a threat to score when killing penalties … is good on face-offs and capable of using his offensive instincts to determine the outcome of a game … he wants the puck when the game is on the line and while not overly physical he does not shy away from the corners and along the boards … protects the puck well with his body and has strong persistent pursuit of the puck … has become more reliable in his defensive play this season … became USA Hockey’s National Team development program all-time leader in career goals with 104 and points with 180 in the 2004-05 season … has played on two U.S. World Junior Teams and in 2005-06 was selected rookie of the year in the WCHA and was selected to the all-rookie team while playing for the U. of Minnesota.
For more information on Kessel click here.
For a complete list of all the top prospects:
Top European Goalies
Top European Skaters
Top North American Goalies
Top North American Skaters