It was announced Monday morning that sophomore defenseman Mike Kesselring has signed his entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton drafted Kesselring in the 6th round of the 2018 NHL Draft, and he played 2 seasons at Northeastern. He was a part of the 2020 Beanpot championship team as a freshman.
In two years, Kesselring established himself as a physical presence on the blue line. Arriving with significant fanfare for his offensive skills, Kesselring showed flashes both years of being capable of driving an offense while also having a booming slapshot from the blue line. In two seasons, he totaled 13 points (7 goals) for the Huskies.
A surprising signing just based on timing (most players drafted that late historically stay at least 3 years in college), Kesselring checks off multiple boxes that professional teams look for in defensive prospects: he’s right-handed, he’s massive in stature, and he has offensive flair. All of these rolled into one player, it’s easy to see why Edmonton wants him in their system as soon as possible. He will report to Bakersfield in the American Hockey League for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Kesselring’s departure leaves a hole in the Huskies’ top 4, however with Julian Kislin and Jeremie Bucheler expected to return for their senior and junior seasons, a “next man up” mentality will serve the Huskies well. Kesselring is the first of a number of departures we are expecting from the 2020-21 Huskies squad, including possibly at least one more from the defensive corps, so we will see how that plays out in the near-future.
Congratulations to Mike on signing his first professional contract! We wish nothing but the best in his future professional endeavors
Feature photo via NUHuskies.com