GENEVA, Ill. (CBS) The Chicago Steel are defending USHL champions, and are on top of the league standings again this season.
As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported Thursday, the Steel are paced by one of the league’s top prospects.
Adam Fantilli got a little social media buzz when he pulled off the goal known as “The Michigan” in a game for the Steel last week.
“Everybody kind of messes as round and tries it sometimes in practice. But to be honest, I never thought I’d be able to pull it off in a game, and I didn’t actually think about doing it until I was behind the net, so it was pretty lucky,” Fantilli said, “and I’m happy it went in.”
Luck has very little to do with what makes Fantilli great. The 17-year-old from Toronto, who currently leads the USHL in goals, is a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
“He’s elite, obviously, physically, but the way he’s been able to think the game and improve that aspect of his game makes me think that he’s going to be an elite NHL player,” said Steel Head Coach Brock Sheahan. “For a kid from Toronto, there’s a lot of pressure. Coming down here, there’s still pressure, but he can be removed from that a little and just focus on what we do here day to day.”
Adam’s brother, Luca Fantilli, also plays on the Steel. Having him here has been a big help especially with the rest of his family back home in Canada.
“It’s been crazy,” Adam Fantilli said. “COVID’s messed up some family visits, but having family member down here, here having to confide in and talked to when the days aren’t going the ways you hoped – it’s really big. It helps.”
CBS 2’s Zahn asked Adam Fantilli if there is any rivalry with his brother.
“Of course, everything we do,” he said. “But I think in all seriousness, he really balances me out. I think vice versa, I do some similar stuff for him. So we’re a good team, I’m happy we’re going to get to continue it next year.”
The Fantilli brothers will be taking their talents and rivalry to the University of Michigan in the fall.
Adam Fantilli would not be the first Steel player to go No. 1 overall. Owen Power was the top pick of the Sabres in this year’s NHL Draft.