Merrimack recruit Michael Kesselring is shooting up the NHL Draft rankings, coming in at No. 55 among North American Skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings, which were released on Monday.
Kesselring, a 6-foot-4 defenseman, has appeared in 18 games for New Hampton this season, scoring six goals and adding 10 assists for 16 points. At New Hampton, Kesselring is playing for his father, Casey Kesselring, who is a former Merrimack forward (’98). Kesselring could become the second Merrimack defenseman drafted in as many years; Johnathan Kovacevic was selected in the third round by the Winnipeg Jets last season. Kovacevic, who is currently a sophomore with the Warriors, was ranked No. 155 heading into the draft.
There’s potential for Kesselring to be the highest-drafted player in Merrimack history. Right now, that distinction belongs to former goaltender Jim Hrivnak (No. 61, 3rd round). Kovacevic is the second-highest draft choice in the program’s history (No. 74, 3rd round) and Anthony Aquino (No. 92, 3rd round) rounds out the top-three. Even with International skaters and goaltenders, with a ranking of No. 55 there is the potential for Kesselring to be as high as a second-round pick.