This one got by me earlier this week but 'Sixty Minutes. No Alibis, No Regrets.' reported on Monday that Oilers prospect Troy Hesketh has been dropped by Wisconsin. The recruit was expecting to join the badgers next fall but appears to now be in limbo in terms of his plans for his hockey future.
He does have options though.
From the story at the Sixty Minutes blog:
According to people with knowledge of the situation, Hesketh will not be admitted to the University academically. It's rumored that he doesn't currently posses an ACT score high enough for enrollment at the University of Wisconsin. The source also credits character concerns.Chuck Schwartz does a bang up job covering the Badgers and as we've laid out here many times before, he also points out that the Edmonton Oil Kings hold Hesketh's CHL playing rights. The rule is that after the January 10th CHL trade deadline, teams cannot add new players... unless said player hasn't played a game anywhere else since before that date. As it so happens, Hesketh was traded from the Chicago Steel to Sioux City before New Year's but has yet to play a game for the Musketeers but has yet to appear in a single game.
The Sixty Minutes blog mentions the possibility that Hesketh didn't report to Sioux City. I'm awaiting confirmation on that one way or the other but a source with the Edmonton Oilers tells me that the defenceman may be sidelined while recovering from a concussion right now.
The Oil Kings are obviously a possibility but GM Bob Green indicated to us that he wasn't expecting Hesketh this year or next. He would be a 20-year-old in the league next season and the Oil Kings would have to make room for him as they already have 4 guys for the three overage spots in 2011-12.
I wonder if Ohio State might be an option? Mark Osiecki is one of the biggest reasons he chose Wisconsin in the first place and now that the former Badgers assistant coach has become the head guy for the Buckeyes, it would seem to make sense. But the academics might still be an issue. I'm guessing that if he can't qualify to get in at the University of Wisconsin, the same would be true for Ohio State... but I could be wrong so if one of our readers knows... educate me.
The third option would be entirely up to the Edmonton Oilers. Hesketh, drafted out of high school, could play minor pro hockey next year. I think it would be a large leap to think he could step into the AHL directly from one rocky half-season in the USHL, so it would likely mean the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL.
What about Europe? I suppose that is another possibility but it strikes me as pretty unlikely.
I will update with more information as it comes to me. At the Sixty Minutes report above, you'll find links to other stories touching on the same subject incuding this one from frequent TPS guest Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal.