Phil Kessel
Born October 2, 1987 (1987-10-02) (age 32)
Madison, Wisconsin
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Toronto Maple Leafs
Boston Bruins
National team Flag of the United States.svg United States
NHL Draft 5th overall, 2006
Boston Bruins
Playing career 2006–present

Phil Kessel (born Philip Joseph Kessel on October 2, 1987), is an American professional ice hockey forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Phil 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.

He finished his amateur career by playing collegiate hockey for the University of Minnesota in the WCHA.

Phil 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.

Phil 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, he played in 6 games, recording a goal and an assist en route to a silver medal.

Playing CareerEdit

Amateur Playing CareerEdit

Phil 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, he missed the 2005 NHL Entry Draft cutoff by only one month. However, in 2005–06, Phil 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, Phil scored only one goal and the team finished in fourth, although he led the tournament in points with 11.

Phil's college performance was less spectacular than expected. By the end of the season, he was playing third-line minutes for the Minnesota Golden Gophers squad, though he did score 18 goals and finish with 51 total points.

He 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, Phil 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, Phil was projected to be the number 1 overall pick but was ultimately surpassed by Erik Johnson and then continued to drop.

Boston BruinsEdit

On August 17, 2006, the Bruins announced that they had signed Phil to a 3 year entry-level contract worth the rookie maximum of $850,000.

On December 11, 2006, his family announced that he was hospitalized for a reason unrelated to hockey.

Later during the day, Bob Lobel (a sportscaster for WBZ-TV in Boston) confirmed that Phil was diagnosed with a form of testicular cancer. Five days later on December 16, 2006, he was announced cancer-free.

On January 5, 2007, Phil was assigned to Providence for conditioning purposes and then recalled on January 7, 2007.

He 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.

While he was not among top rookies in goals or assists, Phil 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 Phil 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.

Then, during the 2007 NHL awards ceremony at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, NHL announced that Phil had been officially selected as the recipient of the 2007 Masterton award.

To open the 2008–09 NHL season, Phil scored the first Bruins goal of the season, playing against the Colorado Avalanche in a game that resulted in the Bruins 5–4 victory.

He 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 Finals, Phil 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 Phil would need off-season shoulder surgery which was 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 him to miss the start of the 2009–10 NHL season.

Toronto Maple LeafsEdit

On September 18, 2009, the Boston Bruins traded Phil 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 Phil 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, he made his much-anticipated debut as a Leaf against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Phil 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, Phil still received the third star of the game honor. He 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 Phil played against his former team, the Boston Bruins, at the TD Garden.

His 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.

Phil 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, Phil 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 Phil (along with his Maple Leafs teammate 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, Phil tallied a goal and an assist as Team USA won a silver medal.

On April 2, 2011, Phil 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.

Phil 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, he 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, Phil crossed the 300 point plateau after having a 3 point night against the Edmonton Oilers.

The next day, he 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, Phil 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 Phil "the easiest (player) to intimidate" in the league.

He 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 then 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, Phil 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, Phil 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.

Phil began the 2012–13 NHL season with his longest goal drought to begin a season at 10 games, finally bumping the slump with the game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets on February 7, 2013.

On April 20, 2013 in a 4–1 win against the Ottawa Senators where Phil was able to contribute two assists, he and the Leafs clinched a playoff spot.

This marked the first time he had made it to the playoffs since his move to the Maple Leafs and ended a seven season playoff drought for the club.

To conclude the 2012–13 NHL season, Phil scored 10 goals and 7 assists for 17 points over his last 10 games to retake the scoring lead for the Leafs, leading the team in goals, assists and points for the second consecutive year.

He would go on to finish 7th in league scoring posting his second consecutive point-per-game season.

On October 1, 2013, Phil officially signed an eight-year contract that will pay him an average of $8 million annually through the 2021-22 NHL season.

Between the week of Oct 21-Oct 27, 2013, Phil found the back of the net in all 3 Toronto games. First, he recorded his fourth career hat-trick including the game-winner in a 4-2 victory of the Anaheim Ducks.

He was then able to score in Toronto's next game, a 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Phil concluded the week by recording a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. For his efforts during the week, he was named Second Star of the Week after leading the NHL with 5 goals scored in that timeframe.

Phil continued his successful week with a 2 goal, 2 assist effort against the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-0 Maple Leafs victory.

After the 2014 NHL Winter Classic victory over the Detroit Red Wings (3-2 in a shootout), it was announced that Phil (along with his Maples Leaf teammate James van Riemsdyk) had been named to the United States Men's Olympic hockey roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts +/- PPG PIM GP G A Pts +/- PPG PIM
2001–02 Madison Capitols Bantam AAA 86176110286
2002–03 Madison Capitols Midget AAA 7111345158
2003–04 Development Program U17 NAHL 6252308226
2004–05 Development Program U18 NAHL 4752469835
2005–06 University of Minnesota WCHA 39183351221028
2006–07 Providence Bruins AHL 2101002
2006–07 Boston Bruins NHL 70111829-12112
2007–08 Boston Bruins NHL 82191837-6528 4314112
2008–09 Boston Bruins NHL 7036246023816 116511704
2009–10 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 70302555-8821
2010–11 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82323264-201224
2011–12 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82374582-101020
2012–13 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 48203252-3618 7426312
NHL totals 504 185 194 379 -36 50 139 22 13 9 21 11 2 8
AHL totals 2 1 0 1 0 0 2
NAHL totals 109 104 76 180 61

NHL All-Star Game StatisticsEdit

Year Location GAPts
2011 Raleigh 000
2012 Ottawa 123
All-Star totals 123

International StatisticsEdit

Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM Result
2004 United States WJC18 6 7 3 10 6 Template:Sica
2005 United States WJC 7 4 2 6 2 4th
2005 United States WJC18 6 9 7 16 2 Template:Goca
2006 United States WJC 7 1 10 11 2 4th
2006 United States WC 7 1 1 2 2 7th
2007 United States WC 7 2 5 7 6 5th
2008 United States WC 7 6 4 10 6 6th
2010 United States Oly 6 1 1 2 0 Template:Sica
USA totals 53 31 33 64 26

Awards & AchievementsEdit

  • 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
  • The 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.

Career MilestonesEdit

  • Played his first NHL game October 6, 2006, vs. Florida Panthers
  • Recorded his first NHL point on October 7, 2006, vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, assisting on a goal by Brad Boyes
  • Scored his first NHL goal on October 21, 2006, vs. Buffalo Sabres
  • Scored his first NHL hat trick on October 12, 2007, vs. Los Angeles Kings
  • 500th NHL game April 18, 2013, vs. New York Islanders
  • 200th NHL assist October 15, 2013, vs. Minnesota Wild
  • 400th NHL point November 19, 2013, vs. New York Islanders
  • 200th NHL goal December 3, 2013, vs. San Jose Sharks
  • 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). He 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 PlayEdit

Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Competitor for the USA
Olympic Games
Silver 2010 Vancouver
IIHF World U18 Championships
Silver 2004 Minsk
Gold 2005 Plzeň

Phil has played for the United States in the:

  • 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 in Magnitogorsk, Russia); 1st place, recorded 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists) in 3 games
  • Five Nations Cup U18 (February 10–13, 2005 in Tjorn, Sweden); 1st place, recorded 6 points (5 goals, 1 assist) in 4 games.

Personal LifeEdit

Phil comes from an athletic family. Both of Phil's parents were athletes.

His 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.

Phil's older cousin David Moss plays for the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL).

His brother Blake (a defenseman) was drafted by the New York Islanders in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He plays for the Philadelphia Flyers' AHL affliate team, the Adirondack Phantoms.

His sister Amanda also plays hockey for the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the WCHA as well as internationally for the United States.

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