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File:Phil Kessel and Bruins.jpg
Position Right wing/center
Shoots Right
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
195 lb (89 kg)
NHL Team Boston Bruins
Nationality USA
Born October 2 1987 (1987-10-02) (age 22),
Madison, WI, US
NHL Draft 5th overall, 2006
Boston Bruins
Pro Career 2006 – present

Philip Joseph Kessel, Jr. (born October 2, 1987, Madison, Wisconsin) is an American professional ice hockey forward for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. Kessel is a product of USA Hockey's National Development Team and became that program's all-time leader for goals and points in his final 2004–05 year. Kessel finished his junior 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 Bruins. In his rookie 2006–07 NHL season he was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.


Playing career

Kessel had an outstanding 2004–05 junior season, one in which many NHL scouts ranked him as a prospect comparable to Sidney Crosby[1] (and one of The Next Ones[2]). 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. His college performance was less spectacular than expected; by season's end he was playing third-line minutes for a loaded Minnesota Golden Gophers squad, though he did score 18 goals and finish with 51 total points, a solid season for a freshman forward. Future Boston Bruin forward Blake Wheeler was a teammate of Kessel at the University of Minnesota, during the 2005–06 collegiate ice hockey season.

Kessel was still viewed highly enough that he was drafted 5th 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 fifth among the North American skaters.

On August 17, 2006, the Bruins announced that Phil signed a multi-year entry-level contract, reportedly 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 in the region of Boston, confirmed that Phil was diagnosed with a form of testicular cancer.[3]

On December 16, 2006, Phil was announced cancer-free. On January 5, 2007, he was assigned to Providence for conditioning purposes[4] 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.

Phil 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.[5]

While Phil 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.

On March 31, 2007, Boston Herald's author Stephen Harris reported that Phil Kessel was voted by Boston writers as the team's candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey).[6] Later, on June 14, at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, NHL announced that Phil had been officially selected as the recipient of the 2007 Masterton award.

His first shootout goal of the 2007–08 NHL season came on October 20, 2007, playing in Boston against the New York Rangers, and was the only goal scored in that game. He repeated that feat against the Rangers in Boston on January 19, 2008, as a game-winning shootout goal. Once again, on February 8, 2008, Kessel scored the only shootout goal in an "away" game against the Buffalo Sabres, winning the game with a 3-2 "come-from-behind" score for the Bruins.

To start the Bruins' 2008–09 NHL season, Phil scored the very first Bruins goal of the season on October 9, 2008, playing against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period of the Colorado team's home opener, that resulted in a 5-4 defeat for the Avalanche. 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[7], 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.

After the defeat of the Bruins in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference semifinals series by the Carolina Hurricanes, it was reported that Kessel would need off-season shoulder surgery, most likely caused during the March 10, 2009 2-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The surgery was successfully performed[8] on May 21, 2009, with recuperation from the surgery possibly causing Kessel to miss the start of the 2009-2010 NHL season.[9]

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)[10]
  • 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
  • 2008-09: NHL "First Star" of the Week (8-14 December 2008) with 8 points (3 goals and 5 assists) in four games.


  • Boston Bruins' franchise record for most game-deciding shootout goals in a career: 9
  • 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.


Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts +/− PIM GP G A Pts +/− PIM
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 28
2006–07 Providence Bruins AHL 2 1 0 1 0 2
2006–07 Boston Bruins NHL 70 11 18 29 −12 12
2007–08 Boston Bruins NHL 82 19 18 37 −6 28 4 3 1 4 +1 2
2008–09 Boston Bruins NHL 70 36 24 60 23 16 11 6 5 11 +7 4
NHL totals 222 66 60 126 5 56 15 9 6 15 8 6

International play

Medal record
World Junior Ice Hockey U18 Championships
Silver 2004 USA
Gold 2005 USA

Played for the United States in:

Also played for the United States in:

  • 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

Participated in two U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camps (2005, 2006)

International statistics

Year Team Event GP G A Pts +/- PIM Places
2004 United States WJC18 6 7 3 10 3 6 2nd
2005 United States WJC 7 4 2 6 -1 2 4th
2005 United States WJC18 6 9 7 16 10 2 1st
2006 United States WJC 7 1 10 11 E 2 4th
2006 United States WC 7 1 1 2 2 2 7th
2007 United States WC 7 2 5 7 1 6 5th
2008 United States WC 7 6 4 10 4 6 6th
USA totals 47 30 32 62 19 26


  1. Future Greats and Heartbreaks, Gare Joyce, 2007, pg. 34-35 (footnote)
  2. The Next One. INCH (2004-07-06).
  3. Bruins' Kessel Diagnosed With Cancer. CBS (2006-12-11). Retrieved on 2009-01-01.
  4. Boston Bruins Assign Phil Kessel to Providence Bruins. Boston Bruins (2007-01-05).
  5. East triumphs in YoungStars shootout. NHL (2007-01-23).
  6. Candidate for the Masterton. Boston Herald (2007-03-31). Retrieved on 2007-07-03.
  7. 2nd career hat trick. NHL (2009-04-12).
  8. [1]
  9. [2]
  10. Phil Kessel captured the Bob Johnson Award. INCH (2005-05-27). Retrieved on 2007-07-03.

External links

  • Phil Kessel's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
Preceded by
Teemu Selanne
Winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Succeeded by
Jason Blake
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Phil Kessel. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

This article uses material from the "Phil Kessel" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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