American women’s hockey star Amanda Kessel will not play next season for the University of Minnesota due to the lingering effects of a concussion she suffered at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, her coach confirmed to the Grand Forks Herald.
Kessel took a redshirt year in 2013–14 to focus on training for the Olympics and used her second and final redshirt last year as she continued to recover from a concussion. The 2015–16 season is Kessel’s final year of eligibility, because the NCAA grants athletes six years to complete their four seasons of eligibility.
“It's just not worth it for her and her health,” Minnesota coach Brad Frost told the Herald. Kessel did not attend classes at Minnesota last school year but may attempt to return to class this year and finish her degree, Frost added.
Kessel, who turns 24 next month, had three goals and three assists during the United States’ silver medal run in Sochi. In her last college season in 2012–13, Kessel led the nation with 101 points (46 goals, 55 assists) in just 37 games and won the Patty Kazmaier Award as the top women’s hockey player in the nation.
The Gophers defeated Harvard in 2015 to win their sixth national championship and third in four years.
Kessel’s older brother, Phil, is a forward with the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Dan Gartland