Phil Kessel was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and started his career by playing collegiate hockey for the University of Minnesota in the WCHA. Following a very successful freshman season, he was drafted 5th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins. Prior to the draft, Kessel had actually dropped in ranking from first to second place among the North American skaters. He had also spent time with USA Hockey’s Development Team and holds the franchise record for most career goals (104) and most career points (180). Kessel began playing for the Bruins in the 2006-2007 season and made an instant impact. In December, however, it was announced that he had a form of testicular cancer. By December 16 of 2006, Kessel was officially cancer-free and was assigned to the Providence Bruins for conditioning. He didn’t stay there long, of course, and was back up to the Boston club two days later after missing only 11 regular season games. Kessel was named to the 2007 NHL YoungStars game and wound up scoring a hat trick in the game, adding an assist. He would finish the year with admirable totals, playing in 70 games and finishing with 29 points. Kessel did fall out of the scoring race, but he set a Bruins record for game-winning shootout goals with four, going four for seven in the shootout. He also won the Bill Masterton Trophy and was the first NHL rookie to win the award for dedication to hockey. Kessel also has an extensive international career and was the leading scorer on the 2006 World Junior Hockey Team for the United States. He is an exciting player with great stickhandling skills that should make a considerable impact at the pro level. Already having overcome adversity, Kessel has shown his dedication to the game and will be an asset to the Bruins. Look for an exciting year from Kessel.