|Birth Day:||October 2, 1987|
|Birth Place:||Madison, United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He set a record for most career goals in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
Later in 2004, Kessel played as an underaged player at the IIHF World U18 Championship, where the U.S. won silver. He finished with ten points (seven goals and three assists) in six games, leading the tournament in goals and being named to the tournament all-star team.
Kessel graduated from Pioneer High School in 2005. However, because his birthday falls after September 15, he was not eligible for the NHL Entry Draft that year. After finishing his two years at NTDP, Kessel enrolled at University of Minnesota on a sports scholarship and played for the Golden Gophers men's ice hockey team for the 2005–06 season. His first collegiate goal came on a penalty shot, marking the first time in team history that a player scored his first career goal on a penalty shot. As a rookie freshman, Kessel finished second on the team in scoring with 51 points (18 goals and 33 assists) in 39 games. He was named the 2005–06 WCHA Rookie of the Year and named to the 2005–06 All-Rookie Team.
In 2005, Kessel once again participated in the World U18 Championship, this time winning a gold medal. He finished with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in six games, leading the tournament in all said offensive statistics. Kessel was named the tournament's best forward and was also named to the tournament All-Star Team.
Kessel was drafted fifth overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He subsequently signed an entry level contract with the team on August 17, 2006, thereby forgoing his final three years of college eligibility.
On August 17, 2006, the Bruins announced that they had signed Kessel to a three-year, entry-level contract worth the rookie maximum of $850,000.
On December 11, 2006, Kessel's family announced that he was hospitalized for a reason unrelated to hockey, and WBZ-TV reported that Kessel was diagnosed with a form of testicular cancer. On December 16, Kessel was pronounced cancer-free. On January 5, 2007, he was assigned to the Providence Bruins, Boston's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, for conditioning purposes and then recalled on January 7. Kessel returned to the Bruins lineup on January 9, against the Ottawa Senators, after missing only 11 regular season games following cancer surgery.
Kessel then played in the 2006 World Junior Championship, where the U.S. finished fourth for the second-straight year. Kessel led the tournament in points (11) and assists (10).
Kessel made his debut in senior international competition in 2006, when he competed at the 2006 IIHF World Championship in Riga. In seven games, he scored one goal and one assist as the U.S. placed seventh.
Kessel was named to the 2007 NHL YoungStars Game in Dallas on January 23, 2007. He recorded a hat-trick (including a unique powerplay goal, plus the game-winner) and an assist during a 9–8 Eastern Conference victory. While Kessel was not among top rookies in goals or assists, for the 2006–07 season he was second among rookies with four shootout goals (in seven attempts). Each was a game-deciding goal.
Kessel scored the first Bruins goal of the 2008–09 season, in a 5–4 Bruins victory against the Colorado Avalanche. Kessel ended 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 career with 36, the most on the Bruins that season. He also tied Ed Olczyk for longest point streak by an American-born NHL player (18 games, 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points during streak) in late 2008. It is now the third-longest such point streak after Patrick Kane's 26-game streak in late 2015 and 20-game streak in the beginning of 2019.
Kessel competed at the World Championship for the third time in the 2008 edition held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Quebec City. Again, however, the U.S. underwhelmed, finishing in sixth place. On a personal level, Kessel finished ninth overall in points with ten (six goals and four assists) in seven games.
On September 18, 2009, the Bruins traded Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2010 first-round pick (Tyler Seguin), a 2010 second-round pick (Jared Knight) and a 2011 first-round pick (Dougie Hamilton). Immediately afterward, the Leafs signed him to a five-year, $27 million contract.
Kessel, however, 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. He had a total of ten shots on goal in the game, a career-high, though he did not record any assists or goals. Despite not recording any points and his team falling 2–1 to the Lightning in overtime, Kessel was named the third star of the game. He scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf just 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 Bruins, at 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. Kessel was on the ice for the first three of the seven goals that Boston scored in their 7–2 victory, eventually finishing the game a −3 plus-minus with two shots on the night. After the game, Kessel said in a post-game interview on NESN that the fans' reaction "did not affect [him]." He did state, however, that it was the "worst game [he] had played in a while", and that he needed to "play better."
After the 2010 NHL Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers on January 1, 2010, USA Hockey announced that Kessel, along with then-Maple Leaf teammate Mike Komisarek, made the Olympic roster to represent Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Komisarek, however, would miss the Olympics due to injury). In six games at the Olympics, Kessel tallied a goal and an assist as the U.S. won a silver medal, falling to Canada in the final.
In 2010, Kessel played for Team USA at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The U.S. finished second, winning the silver medal. In six games, Kessel had a goal and an assist.
On April 2, 2011, Kessel posted his third consecutive 30-goal season, reaching the mark after scoring against the Ottawa Senators. At the time, he was among eight other NHL players, including League stars Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, who have scored 30 goals or more in a season three times since the 2008–09 regular season.
On February 6, 2012, Kessel reached the 300-point plateau after a three-point performance against the Edmonton Oilers. The next day, he hit the 30-goal mark for the fourth-straight year (third-straight as a Maple Leaf) after beating Ondřej Pavelec of the Winnipeg Jets. Later that month, Kessel continued to reach milestones, scoring his 65th point of the season (which broke 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 NHL. He was named by 15% of NHL player respondents while Vancouver Canucks' Daniel and Henrik Sedin were next with 8%. The results were based on the input of 145 NHL players who responded to Sports Illustrated's survey. The poll drew controversy from many, including then-Toronto General Manager Brian Burke due to the inflammatory nature of the question and which players were polled (i.e. no one in the Maple Leafs' or Canucks organizations agreed to have players complete the survey).
On March 31, 2012, Kessel scored his 37th goal of the season in a 4–3 win over the Buffalo Sabres, eclipsing his career-high of 36 set with Boston. He finished the season with 37 goals and 82 points, both new career-highs, and both placed him sixth in the NHL. After the season he was awarded the Molson Cup for the third straight year since becoming a Maple Leaf.
Kessel began the 2012–13 season with his longest goal drought to begin a season at ten games, finally breaking the slump after scoring the game-winning goal against Winnipeg on February 7, 2013. On April 20, 2013, in a 4–1 win against Ottawa in which Kessel recorded two assists, he and the Maple Leafs clinched a playoff spot in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. This marked the first time Kessel had made it to the playoffs since his move to the Maple Leafs and ended a seven-year playoff drought for the club dating back before the 2004–05 NHL lockout. To conclude the season, Kessel scored ten goals and seven assists for 17 points over his last ten games to retake the scoring lead for Toronto. Kessel would go on to finish seventh in NHL scoring, posting his second consecutive point-per-game season.
On October 1, 2013, Kessel signed an eight-year contract extension that will pay him an average of $8 million annually through to the 2021–22 season.
After the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, in which Toronto defeated Detroit Red Wings 3–2 in a shootout, it was announced that Kessel, along with teammate James van Riemsdyk, had been named to Team USA's roster for participation in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. On February 1, 2014, Kessel scored his fifth career hat-trick, which was also his 30th goal of the season, marking the fifth time he has had scored at least 30 goals in one season in the NHL. On February 15, he scored another hat-trick, this time for Team USA against Slovenia during the 2014 Winter Olympics. He finished with five goals and three assists for eight points in six games to lead the tournament in scoring, was named to the tournament All-Star Team and earned Best Forward honors. Despite the personal success, however, Kessel and the U.S. lost the bronze medal game against Finland, falling 5–0. In the end of the 2014 NHL year he led Toronto in goals, assists and points for the third consecutive season.
On January 1, 2014, after the completion of the 2014 Winter Classic, Kessel was announced as a member of the 2014 Olympic Team and went on to compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Although the US finished out of the medals, Kessel enjoyed individual success, scoring 5 goals and 3 assists in 6 games, leading the tournament in points (8), being named as best forward, and being named to the All-Star Team.
Throughout the 2014–15 season Toronto slid down in the Eastern Conference standings: head coach Randy Carlyle was fired on January 15, 2015, after Toronto lost seven of their last ten games, and interim head coach Peter Horachek won just nine of the last 42 games of the season. Even Kessel did not have a significant impact on his personal statistics, collected only 61 points (the most among Maple Leafs).
After weeks of trade rumors, on July 1, 2015, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were entering a rebuilding phase, traded Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon, and a conditional second round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a blockbuster deal for Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling, and conditional first- (Sam Steel) and third-round (James Greenway) draft picks. Toronto also retained $1.2 million of Kessel's salary for the remaining seven seasons of his contract.
Kessel scored his first regular season goal as a Penguin on October 10, while playing Arizona in the team's second game of the 2015–16 season. On December 19, 2015, Kessel played his 500th consecutive game, becoming the 23rd player in league history to reach this milestone.
On June 12, 2016, Kessel won the Stanley Cup after defeating the San Jose Sharks in six games. Kessel played on a line with Nick Bonino and Carl Hagelin that was the most effective line for the Penguins in the playoffs (called the HBK line). Kessel led the Penguins in playoff scoring with 10 goals and 22 points and also led the team in shots with 98. Kessel narrowly missed winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, falling short of teammate and captain Sidney Crosby by three points. In the 5-3-1 point distribution scheme based on the ballots of 18 voters, Crosby had nine first-place votes, five second-place votes, and three third-place votes, while Kessel had seven first-place votes, eight second-place votes, and one third-place vote.
On October 11, 2018, during the third Pittsburgh game of the 2018–19 season, Kessel scored his sixth career hat-trick, which occurred as his first natural, and first as a Penguin. From February 1 to March 5, 2019, Kessel did not score a goal in 16 games (however, he collected 11 assists), which was the longest goal-drought in his entire career. On March 19, 2019, Kessel played in his 320th consecutive game for the Penguins, passing Craig Adams for the longest in their history. After the last game of the regular season, Kessel was second in points for Penguins, and led the league with 10 game-winning goals.
For the 2003–04 season, Kessel moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to join the United States National Team Development Program's U17 squad. He set NTDP records for goals (52) for a U17–18 players. During the 2004–05 season, Kessel played full-time on the U18 team scoring 52 goals and 98 points, both of which were, at the time, records for an U18 player. His points record was surpassed by Patrick Kane who recorded 102 points and same 52 goals in the next 2005–06 season. Almost 15 years later, on March 15, 2019, another Wisconsin phenom Cole Caufield scored a career-high six goals to reach 105 and pass Kessel's career 104 goals from 2003–05 for the NTDP lead.
On June 29, 2019, Kessel was traded from Pittsburgh to the Arizona Coyotes along with Dane Birks and a fourth-round pick, in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre-Olivier Joseph.
Currently, Phil Kessel is 34 years, 0 months and 20 days old. Phil Kessel will celebrate 35th birthday on a Sunday 2nd of October 2022.
Find out about Phil Kessel birthday activities in timeline view here.