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Phil Kessel Bio

Mar 14, 2012
  • Name: Phil Kessel
  • Height: 6' 0"
  • Weight: 203 lbs
  • Age: 24
  • Birthday: October 2, 1987
  • Place of Birth: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Sport: Hockey
  • Position: Right Wing

Coming off his best season ever, Phil Kessel is one of the leading scorers of the NHL and could be considered to be one of the greatest American hockey players. Phil’s great shot and blazing speed has landed him in the top 10 players in the NHL and he’s trying to get the Toronto Maple Leafs back into the playoffs for the first time in almost 10 years.

Childhood Hockey

Young Phil Kessel
Madison Capitol Phil Kessel
Courtesy of Madison Capitols
 

Phil was born on October 2, 1987 in Madison, Wisconsin, and he comes from a family of athletes.  His father, Phil Kessel Sr. was a college quarterback and was drafted by the Washington Redskins of the NFL.  His mother Kathy ran track in college.  Phil’s brother Blake was drafted by the New York Islanders and his sister Amanda also plays hockey and won the 2007 under-19 national girls championship as a freshman. Wow, I wonder what the home trophy room looks like!

Success with Suter

For the majority of Phil’s early days in hockey he played for the Madison Capitols, coached by Bob Suter.  If you think you recognize that name it is because Bob played for the 1980 USA “Miracle on Ice” team that won gold at the Olympics. But you may also recognize the name because of his younger brother Gary Suter, who had a stellar 17 year NHL career, or Bob’s son Ryan Suter, who is a young defensman with the Nashville Predators.

Phil was often compared with his childhood rival Sidney Crosby as one of the future superstars of the NHL.  He was projected to be a #1 overall pick in 2006.  Surprisingly, the Boston Bruins were able to snap him 5th overall in the draft.

Comeback from Cancer

81 Phil Kessel
Kessel on the Boston Bruins
Courtesy of the NHL
 

Phil was only 19 years old in his first year in the NHL, however half way through the season he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Amazingly, treatment removed the cancer very quickly and Phil was able to finish the season playing in 70 games! He even got to play at the NHL All-Star weekend where he scored a hat trick in the rookies game. At the end of the season, Kessel was awarded the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy (for perseverence, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey).

After a few successful seasons with the Boston Bruins, Phil was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for 1st and 2nd round draft picks. Phil has been climbing the ranks in scoring and now is amongst the top 5 in the league. Now all Phil has to do is help the Leafs win some games so they can try for a Stanley Cup.

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