October 2, 1987 |
Madison, WI, USA
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)|
|Toronto Maple Leafs
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||5th overall, 2006
Phillip "Phil" Kessel (born October 2, 1987), is an American professional ice hockey forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). Kessel is a product of USA Hockey National Team Development Program and became that program's all-time leader for goals and points in his final 2004–05 year. Kessel finished his amateur career by playing collegiate hockey for the University of Minnesota in the WCHA. He was the fifth-overall pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, taken by the Boston Bruins. In his rookie season, he was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for overcoming testicular cancer and continuing to play. Kessel plays internationally for the United States, and represented them every year between 2003-2010 except 2009 due to a shoulder injury. At the 2010 Winter Olympics Kessel played in 6 games, recording a goal and an assist en route to a silver medal.
Playing Career 
Amateur career 
Kessel had an outstanding 2004–05 junior season, one in which many NHL scouts ranked him as a prospect comparable to Sidney Crosby (and one of The Next Ones). Born in October, Kessel missed the 2005 NHL Entry Draft cutoff by only one month. However, in 2005–06, Kessel experienced several setbacks that hurt his ranking as a prospect. Considered the most talented player on the favored United States team in the 2006 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, he scored only one goal and the team finished in fourth, although he led the tournament in points with 11. His college performance was less spectacular than expected; by season's end he was playing third-line minutes for the Minnesota Golden Gophers squad, though he did score 18 goals and finish with 51 total points.
Kessel was still viewed highly enough that he was drafted fifth overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins. Prior to the draft he dropped in ranking from first to second place among the North American skaters and in the final ranking he was ranked fourth among the North American skaters. At one point during his draft year he was projected to be the number 1 overall pick but was ultimately surpassed by Erik Johnson and then continued to drop.
Professional career 
Boston Bruins 
On August 17, 2006, the Bruins announced that they had signed Kessel to a 3 year entry-level contract worth the rookie maximum of $850,000.
On December 11, 2006, his family announced that Kessel was hospitalized for a reason unrelated to hockey. Later during the day, Bob Lobel, a sportscaster for WBZ-TV in Boston, confirmed that Kessel was diagnosed with a form of testicular cancer. Five days later, on December 16, Kessel was announced cancer-free. On January 5, 2007, he was assigned to Providence for conditioning purposes and then recalled on January 7. Kessel returned to the Bruins line-up on January 9, against the Ottawa Senators, after missing only 11 regular season games following cancer surgery.
Kessel was named to the 2007 NHL YoungStars Game which took place in Dallas, Texas, on January 23, 2007. He recorded a hat trick (including a unique powerplay with a game-winning goal) and an assist during this game in a 9–8 Eastern Conference victory. While Kessel was not among top rookies in goals or assists, he became second among rookies with four shootout goals (4 of 7). Each goal was a game-deciding one that brought his team a win.
At the conclusion of the season, Boston Herald's author Stephen Harris reported that Kessel was voted by Boston writers as the team's candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey) after battling testicular cancer.
To open the 2008–09 NHL season, Kessel scored the first Bruins goal of the season, playing against the Colorado Avalanche in a game that resulted in the Bruins 5–4 victory. Kessel closed out the regular season on a high note, scoring his second career hat trick in the April 12, 2009, 6–2 visitors' victory against the New York Islanders, and amassing the highest number of NHL regular season goals so far in his young career with 36, the most on the Bruins team for the season.
In the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, Kessel would play an integral role in the team's playoff run, leading the team with 6 goals, before losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in the conference semi-finals in 7 games. After the playoffs, it was reported that Kessel would need off-season shoulder surgery, most likely caused during a 2–0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The surgery was successfully performed during the off-season, with recuperation from the surgery causing Kessel to miss the start of the 2009–10 NHL season.
Toronto Maple Leafs 
On September 18, 2009, the Boston Bruins traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, in exchange for a 2010 first-round pick, a 2010 second-round pick, and a 2011 first-round pick. Immediately afterward, the Leafs signed him to a five-year, $27 million contract.
However, Kessel was sidelined for the first month of the season with a shoulder injury incurred the year before that required surgery. Finally, on November 3, 2009, Kessel made his much-anticipated debut as a Leaf against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kessel had a total of 10 shots on goal in the game, a career high, however he was not able to record any assists or goals. Despite not recording any points, and falling to the Lightning 2–1 in overtime, Kessel still received the third star of the game honor. Kessel scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf four days later, in a 5–1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at the Air Canada Centre.
December 5, 2009 marked the first time that Kessel played against his former team, the Boston Bruins, at the TD Garden. Kessel's return to Boston was marked with thunderous taunting chants of his name by his former home crowd, along with a chorus of boos every time he had possession of the puck. Kessel was on the ice for the first three of the seven goals that Boston scored in their 7–2 victory. He finished the game a −3 plus/minus with 2 shots on the night. After the game Kessel said in a post-game interview on NESN that the fans' reaction "did not affect [him]". However it was the "worst game [he] had played in a while" and that he needed to "play better". However, on February 15, 2011, he scored two goals against his former team in a 4–3 Maple Leafs win.
After the 2010 NHL Winter Classic game, it was announced that Kessel, along with his Leaf team-mate Mike Komisarek, made the Olympic roster to represent Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics (However, Komisarek would miss the Olympics due to injury). In 6 games at the Olympics, Kessel tallied a goal and an assist as Team USA won a silver medal.
On April 2, 2011, Kessel had his third consecutive 30 goal season, scoring against the Ottawa Senators. He is currently amongst 8 other NHL players, including Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, who have scored 30 goals or more in a season three times since the 2008–09 NHL regular season.
Kessel had another of his patented great starts to the 2011–12 NHL season, scoring his first hat trick as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs in just their second game of the season. He would go on to finish the month as the NHL's top scorer and was subsequently named first star of the month for October. That season, Kessel was once again named to be an All-Star, and was selected to Team Chara in the 8th round of the Fantasy Draft by assistant captain and linemate Joffrey Lupul.
On February 6, 2012, Kessel crossed the 300 point plateau after having a 3 point night against the Edmonton Oilers. The next day, Kessel hit the 30-goal mark for the fourth straight time (third straight as a Maple Leaf) scoring against Ondrej Pavelec of the Winnipeg Jets. Later that month, Kessel continued to set milestones, scoring his 65th point of the season (breaking his old career-high) in a 2–1 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
An NHL player's poll conducted by Sports Illustrated and released in February 2012 named Kessel "the easiest (player) to intimidate" in the league. Kessel was named by 15% of NHL player respondents while Vancouver's Daniel and Henrik Sedin were next with 8%. The results were based on 145 NHL players who responded to Sports Illustrated's survey. The poll drew controversy from many, including leafs GM Brian Burke due to the inflammatory nature of the question and which players were polled (i.e. no one in the Leafs' or Canucks organizations agreed to have players complete the survey).
In another player survey, this one by The Hockey News, Kessel was ranked as the 16th best player in the NHL by his peers. The results in this survey were based on responses from 5 players from each of the 30 NHL teams. Players were not allowed to vote for members of their own team.
On March 31, 2012, Kessel scored his 37th goal of the season in a 4–3 win over the Buffalo Sabres beating his career high of 36 set with the Boston Bruins. He would go on to finish the season with 37 goals and 82 points, both new career highs, and both placed him 6th in the league.
On April 21, 2013 Kessel and the Leafs clinched a playoffs spot. This will be the first time Kessel goes in to the playoffs since his move to the Maple Leafs.
To conclude the 2012–13 NHL season Kessel scored 4 goals in his final 3 games to retake the goal scoring lead for the Leafs, leading the team in goals, assists and points for the second consecutive year. Kessel would go on to finish 7th in league scoring after finishing 6th the previous year.
Personal life 
Both of Kessel's parents were athletes: father Phil Kessel, Sr., a college quarterback at Northern Michigan University, was drafted by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League, spending his first year on the injured reserve and then released. Also, his mother Kathy ran track in college. Not only were his parents athletically inclined but the entire Kessel family features successful athletes. Kessel has an older cousin who plays in the NHL, David Moss, of the Phoenix Coyotes. His brother Blake, a defenseman, who was drafted by the New York Islanders in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft plays for the Philadelphia Flyers American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. Their sister Amanda also plays hockey for the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the WCHA, as well as internationally for the United States
Career statistics 
Figures in boldface italics are records.
|2001–02||Madison Capitols||Bantam AAA||86||176||110||286||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Madison Capitols||Midget AAA||71||113||45||158||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||Development Program U17||NAHL||62||52||30||82||—||—||26||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||Development Program U18||NAHL||47||52||46||98||—||—||35||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Minnesota Golden Gophers||WCHA||39||18||33||51||22||10||28||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||30||25||55||-8||8||21||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||32||32||64||-20||12||24||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||37||45||82||-10||10||20||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||48||20||32||52||-3||6||18||7||4||2||6||3||1||2|
NHL All-Star Games 
International statistics 
Awards and honors 
- 2005: Bob Johnson Award at the USA Hockey Annual Congress (for excellence in international hockey competition during a specific season of play)
- 2005–06: WCHA Rookie of the Year, WCHA All-Rookie Team, MacNaughton Cup
- 2006–07: Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, Played in the NHL YoungStars Game
- 2010–11: Selected with the last pick (18th round, 32nd overall) in the 2011 NHL All-Star fantasy draft to team Lidstrom by assistant captain Patrick Kane.
- 2011–12: NHL "First Star" of the Month of October with 18 points (10 goals and 8 assist) in 11 games played.
- 2011–12: Selected with the 15th pick (8th round) in the 2012 NHL All-Star fantasy draft to team Chara by assistant captain and teammate Joffrey Lupul.
- USA Hockey National Team Development Program franchise record for most career goals: 104
- USA Hockey National Team Development Program franchise record for most career points: 180
- USA Hockey National Team Development Program single-season record for goals: 52 (shared with Patrick Kane)
- United States National U18 Team's All-Time leader for points (26), goals (16) and assists (10) in 12 games during 2004–2005 World Junior Ice Hockey U18 Championships
NHL records 
- The first NHL rookie to be honored with the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
- Tied with Ed Olczyk for the longest point streak by a U.S.-born player in NHL history (18 games). He had 14 goals and 14 assists, 28 points, on that run.
- Tied with Sidney Crosby and Erik Christensen for the most game-deciding shootout goals in career, with 13.
Boston Bruins records 
- Boston Bruins' franchise record for most game-deciding shootout goals in a career: 9
- Youngest player for the Boston Bruins to score 30 goals in a single season at the age of 21 years, 179 days. He scored against the New York islanders in his 3rd season en route to a 36 goal campaign.
- Played his first NHL game October 6, 2006, vs. Florida Panthers 
- Recorded his first NHL point October 7, 2006, vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, assisting on a goal by Brad Boyes 
- Scored his first NHL goal October 21, 2006, vs. Buffalo Sabres 
- Scored his first NHL hat trick October 12, 2007, vs. Los Angeles Kings 
- 100th NHL goal October 15, 2010, vs. New York Rangers
- 100th NHL assist January 24, 2011, vs. Carolina Hurricanes
- 300th NHL point February 6, 2012, vs. Edmonton Oilers 
- 500th NHL game April 18, 2013, vs. New York Islanders
- Led the Boston Bruins in goals in 2008-09 (36 goals) 
- Led the Toronto Maple Leafs in goals and points in 2009-10 (30 goals, 55 points)
- Led the Toronto Maple Leafs in goals and points in 2010-11 (32 goals, 64 points)
- Led the Toronto Maple Leafs in goals, assists and points in 2011-12 (37 goals, 45 assists, 82 points) Kessel was 6th in the NHL in goals and points at the conclusion of the season.
- Led the Toronto Maple Leafs in goals, assists and points in the 48-game 2012-13 NHL season (20 goals, 32 assists, 52 points)
- Led the Toronto Maple Leafs in goals in the 2012-13 playoff run (4 goals in 7 games)
International play 
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for the USA|
|IIHF World U18 Championships|
Kessel played for the United States in:
- 2004 IIHF World U18 Championships (All-Star Team)
- 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
- 2005 IIHF World U18 Championships (Best Forward, All-Star Team, Leading Scorer)
- 2006 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (Leading Scorer)
- 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
- 2007 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
- 2008 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
- 2010 Winter Olympics
- Four Nations Cup U17 (November 7–9, 2003, Magnitogorsk, Russia), 1st place, recorded 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) in 3 games
- Five Nations Cup U18 (February 10–13, 2005, Tjorn, Sweden), 1st place, recorded 6 points (5 goals, 1 assist) in 4 games
- Future Greats and Heartbreaks, Gare Joyce, 2007, pg. 34–35 (footnote)
- http://www.insidecollegehockey.com/7Archives/Features/kessel_0245.htm The Next One, INCH. July 6, 2004.
- http://wbztv.com/local/Bruins.Kessel.Being.2.583691.html CBS, Retrieved January 1, 2009
- http://bruins.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=305287&page=NewsPage&service=page Boston Bruins, Retrieved January 5, 2007
- http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=287864 NHL, January 23, 2007
- Harris, Stephen http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/bostonherald/access/1247691431.html?dids=1247691431:1247691431&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Mar+31%2C+2007&author=STEPHEN+HARRIS&pub=Boston+Herald&edition=&startpage=28&desc=B%27s+back+their+boss+ March 31, 2007
- "2nd career hat trick". NHL. April 12, 2009.
- "Kessel Undergoes Successful Surgery". Boston Bruins. May 21, 2009.
- Shinzawa, Fluto (May 18, 2009). "Kessel, Krejci among injured Bruins". Boston Globe.
- "Kessel traded to Maple Leafs, signs 5-year, $27m contract". TSN. September 19, 2009.
- "2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team Announced". USA Hockey. January 1, 2010.
- http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1132024--toronto-maple-leafs-phil-kessel-easiest-to-intimidate-sports-illustrated-poll Toronto Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessel easiest to intimidate: Sports Illustrated poll
- http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1194882/index.htm Nhl Players Poll
- http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/45156-THNs-Top-50-NHLers-as-voted-by-the-players-2016.html THN NHL Players Poll
- "2009 IIHF World Women's U18 Championship Scoring Leaders". IIHF. January 10, 2009.
- "Phil Kessel captured the Bob Johnson Award". INCH. May 27, 2005. Retrieved July 3, 2007.
- Press releases:
- USA Hockey:
|Boston Bruins first round draft pick
|Winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy