2008-09: Kessel played in 37 of the team’s 38 games, more than any other freshman… Missed just one game while competing at the World Junior National Tournament… Tied with Moses for the most points as a freshman with 13 on six goals and seven assists… A valuable member of the Wildcat power play, potting three one-man advantage goals and three game-winning goals (ranked 45th nationally)… Plus/minus rating of +16 was second only to his linemate Kevin Kapstad… Had a career-high two points on a goal and an assist on March 6 at Vermont… Had a knack for scoring big goals as three of his six goals were game winners including late winners against Mass-Lowell and Vermont at Whittemore Center.
Career Milestones: Career high: two points March 6, 2009 at Vermont; first goal Nov. 15, 2008 at Boston College; first assist Oct. 11, 2008 vs. Wisconsin.
Before UNH: Kessel skated in 118 games over two seasons for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL)...In his final season, was named USHL Defenseman of the Year and an all star selection...Led all defensemen in scoring with 57 points on 19 goals and 38 assists in 59 games...In the season prior, played in 59 games and totaled 38 points as he notched 27 assists and 11 goals...Over the course of his career with the Blackhawks, Kessel was awarded the Defensive Player of the Week three times, twice in 2008 and once in 2007.
Personal: Born in Madison, Wisconsin on April 13, 1989 to Phil and Kathy Kessel...Shoots right...Majoring in sports studies...His brother Phil plays for the Boston Bruins (NHL), cousin David Moss plays for the Calgary Flames (NHL), while his father Phil played football for the Washington Redskins (NFL) and Calgary Sampede (CFL)...Aside from hockey he enjoys golfing and fishing...His favorite athlete is Nicholas Lidstrom...Played in Waterloo with UNH teammates DiGirolamo, Borisenok and Pavelski.
NHL Rights: Kessel was selected in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL draft by the New York Islanders with the 166th overall pick.
KESSEL'S CAREER STATISTICS