Kressler kids a few miles apart

Randy Russon
May 22, 2019

Neither Braeden Kressler or his older sister Bryanna will be living at home with their mom and dad come the fall. But as Braeden is slated to be playing hockey in Flint and with Bryanna about to enter her junior year as a softball standout at Wayne State University, the siblings won’t be far apart.

Braeden, who has a 2003 birth date, was selected by the Flint Firebirds in the second round of this year’s Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

Bryanna, who was born in 1999, is coming off outstanding freshman and sophomore seasons as an outfielder and relief pitcher for the Wayne State Warriors of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Geographically, Flint is located about 65 miles north of Wayne State University, whose main campus is in the midtown area of Detroit, just up Woodward Ave. from Little Caesars Arena (home of the National Hockey League Red Wings) and Comerica Park (home of Major League Baseball’s Tigers.)

The Kressler family, which includes Braeden, Bryanna and their parents, Ryan and Steph, hail from the southwestern Ontario city of Kitchener. Kitchener is just over a three-hour to Detroit.

Meanwhile, as Braeden is making a name for himself as a soon-to-be rookie player in the OHL, Bryanna has already established herself as a GLIAC softball star.

In her first term at Wayne State, she was named GLIAC freshman of the year and made the first all-star team. Bryanna was an all-star again as a sophomore with a .368 batting average and a team-leading 43 runs batted in.

As for Braeden — in what could play out as a steal — Flint selected Kressler in the second round, 28th overall, of this year’s OHL draft.

After playing all of his minor hockey at home in Kitchener, Braeden skated for the Mississauga Senators of the Greater Toronto Hockey League in 2018-2019.

He was seen by some as a first-round pick. But Kressler slipped into the second round and Flint general manager Barclay Branch was quick to snap up the youngster with the 28th pick.

Kressler is a 5-foot-8, 150-pound center who was a point-per-game player over the course of the 2018-2019 season for a sub-par Mississauga team. He has a reputation as a tireless competitor who has hands of silk to go with a good shot.

Now, if all goes as planned, Braeden will be playing hockey in Flint come the 2019-2020 season, not far from where Bryanna is roaming the outfield and pitching out of the bullpen for the Wayne State softball women.

PHOTO: The Kresslers — Steph, Braeden, Ryan and Bryanna. (Photo by Todd Boone.)

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