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Camp Spotlight: Anders Lee

Two-sport star from Minnesota gives up football to focus on his first-love

Tuesday, 07.14.2009 / 9:18 AM ET / News
By Rich Arleo
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Camp Spotlight: Anders Lee

After a season in which Anders Lee threw for 1,982 yards and rushed for a ridiculous 32 touchdowns and 1,104 yards at Edina High School in Minnesota, the star quarterback is at Islanders Mini-Camp with only one thing on his mind—hockey.

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound, 18-year-old forward was selected by the Islanders with their final pick (No. 152) in last month’s NHL Entry Draft, following standout football and hockey careers at Edina. A Division I recruit in both sports—Lee’s passion for hockey, being drafted by the Islanders and being recruited by Notre Dame to play hockey—all contributed to his decision to focus on the sport  he’s been playing since he was four years old.

“I’ve loved it for so long I just couldn’t let it go,” Lee said. “Someday I want to be in the NHL and I’m going to work as hard as I can to get there. I first started playing hockey at a young age and I’ve worked my way up. When assistant GM Ryan Jankowski called me—I don’t even remember what he said—I was so excited. It’s an unreal feeling and I’m honored right now.”

This season, Lee plans to play for Green Bay of the USHL before heading to Notre Dame in 2010. Despite excelling at football, Lee has decided to keep his focus solely on hockey.

“I’m done with football,” said Lee, who scored 20 goals and 46 assists for Edina last season. “Football was just strictly a fun thing to do in high school and now its all hockey. For the future, I just want to spend time in Notre Dame and see where I’m at with New York; Just do what I can do get here and work my butt off.”

For now, Lee is focused on Mini-Camp and showing why he was such a highly-recruited athlete out of high school. He is determined to get even bigger and stronger as he develops his game. A scary thought for those opposing the imposing—but humble—young man.

“It’s just great to be out there with such great players,” Lee said
 

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