Ryan Kesler: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born August 31, 1984 (1984-08-31) (age 25),
Livonia, Michigan
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Right
NHL team
F. teams
Vancouver Canucks
Manitoba Moose (AHL)
Ntl. team  United States
NHL Draft 23rd overall, 2003
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 2003 – present

Ryan James Kesler (born August 31, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey center and alternate captain for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Drafted in the first round, 23rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Kesler has spent his entire five-year NHL career with the Canucks. He is best known a two-way forward, having been nominated for the Selke Trophy in 2009, and for his agitating style of play.[1][2]

Kesler played junior hockey with the U.S. National Team Development Program from which he then accepted a scholarship to play college hockey with the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). In one season with the Buckeyes, he was an honourable mention for the CCHA All-Rookie Team and was named CCHA Rookie of the Week three times and CCHA Rookie of the Month once. In addition to the U.S. National Team Development Program and the Ohio State Buckeyes, Kesler has also suited up for the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL), where he was named to an AHL All-Star Game.

Kesler has represented the United States at five International Ice Hockey Federation-sanctioned events, winning one World U18 Championship gold medal, one World Junior Championships gold medal, and the 2010 Winter Olympics silver medal. He also participated in the 2001 World U-17 Hockey Challenge where he won a gold medal.


Early life

Kesler was born on August 31, 1984, in Livonia, Michigan, to Linda and Mike Kesler. He is the youngest of three children, including brother Todd and sister Jenny.[3] His father, Mike, played college hockey at Colorado College and was a supervisor with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for 37 years.[4][5] He introduced his children to the ice at a very young age. Ryan recalls skating at around the age of 4.[6] Mike also coaches a Junior B hockey team and runs a hockey school in Livonia, which Kesler attended as a child every summer from the age of six to seventeen.[4] In April 2007, Mike was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer and had seven inches of his small intestine removed to rid the cancer.[5] Kesler's mother, Linda, owns her own shop in Detroit.

Kesler played minor hockey in Detroit for teams such as Compuware, Honeybaked, and Little Caesars of the Midwest Elite Hockey League (MWEHL).[7] At the age of around thirteen, however, Kesler was cut from every triple-A team he tried out for. As a result, he played for his dad's bantam team, which he coached.[8] Kesler credits his brother, who is nine years older than him, for getting him into hockey.[9] As a young hockey player, Kesler looked up to NHL star and fellow Livonia native Mike Modano as a role model.[10] Kesler's best friend is Chris Conner with whom he played minor hockey.[11]

Playing career


U.S. National Team Development Program

In June 2000, Kesler was drafted in the fifth round, 89th overall by the Brampton Battalion in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection.[12] Despite being drafted by a Canadian OHL team, Kesler chose to play in the U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP) because of its close proximity to his Livonia home.[13] This allowed Kesler to continue his high school education without leaving Winston Churchill High School.[13] He entered the USNTDP for the 2000–01 season. Over his two seasons with the USNTDP, Kesler recorded 99 points in 131 games.[13]

Ohio State University

After two seasons with the USNTDP, Kesler accepted a scholarship to play college hockey at Ohio State University for the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). He chose Ohio State over the University of Wisconsin–Madison and its Wisconsin Badgers ice hockey program of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) because Ohio State was closer to Kesler's home in Livonia.[14] As a freshman, Kesler scored eleven goals and twenty assists to finish fourth in team scoring behind junior and Hobey Baker Award finalist R. J. Umberger.[15] Over the course of his freshman year, Kesler helped the Buckeyes to a third place finish in the CCHA's regular season standings. At the 2003 CCHA Tournament, Kesler scored two goals as the Buckeye's finished in fourth place, losing to Northern Michigan 4–1 in the third place game.[15] Despite this finish, Ohio State secured an at-large bid to the 2003 NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey Tournament, the third appearance at the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship in Ohio State's history.[15] At the tournament, Ohio State suffered a 1–0 loss to Boston College in the opening round of the East Regional at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, ending both the team's and Kesler's season.[16]

Kesler's play as a freshman earned him an honourable mention for the CCHA All-Rookie Team.[15] He was also named CCHA Rookie of the Week three times, CCHA Rookie of the Month once, and was awarded Ohio State's George Burke Most Valuable Freshman award.[15] Following the season, Kesler entered the 2003 NHL Entry Draft ranked sixteenth overall among North American skaters.[17] On June 21, 2003, he was drafted 23rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks.[18]

Vancouver Canucks

Ryan Kesler wearing his old #20 during his rookie season.

Upon being drafted, Kesler considered returning to Ohio State for his sophomore season or joining the Brampton Battalion, who still held his OHL rights.[18] However, less than two months after being drafted, Kesler signed a three-year, $2.475-million entry level contract with the Canucks, complemented by an $850,000 signing bonus.[3][19][20] After attending Canucks training camp and playing in five preseason games, Kesler was cut by the Canucks and sent to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.[21] Kesler began his first professional season with the Moose, but was recalled by the Canucks in November and made his NHL debut on November 24, 2003 in a 2–1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, recording one shot on goal and 12:12 of ice time.[22] He scored his first career NHL goal on November 29 against Calgary Flames goaltender Jamie McLennan in a 4–4 tie.[23] For the remainder of the season, Kesler split time between the Canucks and the Moose, finishing his season with five points in 28 Canucks games and eleven points in 33 Moose games.

The 2004–05 NHL lockout, which cancelled the full 2004–05 NHL season, forced Kesler to spend the entire season with the Moose.[24] With Manitoba, Kesler emerged as one of the Canucks' top prospects. Mid-way through the season, Kesler was named to the PlanetUSA All-Star team for the 2005 AHL All-Star Game where he helped PlanetUSA defeat Team Canada for the first time in five years.[25][26] Kesler finished third in team scoring with thirty goals and 57 points to be named the Moose's Most Valuable Player.[27] Kesler added an additional nine points in fourteen playoff games as the Moose advanced to the Western Conference finals before being swept by the Chicago Wolves.[28] When the NHL lockout ended and play resumed for the 2005–06 NHL season, Kesler joined the Canucks for his first full season with the team, playing in all 82 games and finishing the season with 23 points.

Following the 2005–06 NHL season, Kesler became a restricted free agent and was qualified by the Canucks at $564,000; however, on September 12, 2006, Kesler signed a one-year, $1.9-million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers.[29] The offer sheet was the first in the NHL since the Tampa Bay Lightning extended one to Brett Hauer in July 1999.[29] The move was highly controversial with many NHL general managers criticizing how Kesler's inflated salary would affect future free agent signings.[29] The Canucks had one week to either match the offer or receive a second round draft pick from the Flyers in 2007 as compensation.[29] Two days after the offer sheet signing, the Canucks matched the Flyers' offer, re-signing Kesler to a one-year, $1.9-million contract.[30]

Kesler checking Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in 2009.

After playing 48 games in the 2006–07 NHL season, Kesler suffered a torn acetabular labrum and missed the remainder of the regular season, finishing the season with sixteen points.[31] Kesler returned to the Canucks lineup for the first game of their quarterfinal playoff series versus the Dallas Stars.[31] While blocking a shot in the fourth overtime of the game, Kesler suffered a displaced index finger.[32] Despite finishing the game, Kesler was forced to undergo surgery to repair the damage and missed the remainder of the playoffs.[32] Despite his limited play, the Canucks re-signed Kesler to a three-year, $5.25-million contract extension in May 2007.[33]

Early into his fourth season with the Canucks, Kesler was cross-checked in the face by Philadelphia Flyers forward Jesse Boulerice.[34] The cross-check was an immediate response to Kesler hitting Flyers defenceman Randy Jones and resulted in Kesler leaving the game with a sore jaw.[34] Boulerice was subsequently suspended for 25 games, matching the then largest suspension in the NHL's history.[35] Later in the season, Kesler was involved in another violent on-ice incident when Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger used his skate blade to stomp on Kesler's calf. Although the NHL originally announced that Pronger would not receive a suspension on the play, he later received an eight-game suspension when new video emerged of the incident.[36][37] Over the course of the season, Kesler established himself as a solid two-way centre, scoring a career high 21 goals and 37 points and playing a regular shutdown role against opposing teams' top players and on the penalty kill with linemate Alexandre Burrows.[38]

Kesler faces off against Ryan Getzlaf in December 2009.

With the departures of Markus Näslund, Brendan Morrison, and Trevor Linden following the 2007–08 season, the Canucks were left without any captains for the 2008–09 NHL season. On September 30, 2008, Kesler was announced as a Canucks alternate captain with Willie Mitchell and Mattias Öhlund, while Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo was named captain.[39] While he, at first, continued to play on the third line in a largely defensive role with Burrows, head coach Alain Vigneault eventually split the duo in the midst of a poor January for the team. As a result, Kesler was placed on the second line with free agent acquisitions Pavol Demitra and Mats Sundin.[40][41] Playing in a more offensive role, he set personal statistical bests for the 2008–09 season, with 26 goals, 33 assists and 59 points. As a result, he was awarded the Cyclone Taylor Award as team MVP.[42] Kesler gained more league-wide recognition as a Selke Trophy finalist along with Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings and Mike Richards of the Philadelphia Flyers,[43] finishing as the second runner-up with one first-place vote.[44]

International play

Medal record
Ice hockey
Competitor for  United States
Winter Olympics
Silver 2010 Vancouver
World Junior Championships
Gold 2004 Helsinki
World U18 Championships
Gold 2002 Piešťany

Throughout his career, Kesler has represented the United States at various international ice hockey tournaments. He first competed internationally at the 2001 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in New Glasgow and Truro, Nova Scotia where he helped the American team to a gold medal victory over Team Canada Pacific, finishing the tournament with one goal and five assists in six games.[45]

Kesler participated in his first International Ice Hockey Federation-sanctioned event at the 2002 IIHF World U18 Championships in Piešťany and Trnava, Slovakia. He finished the tournament with seven points in eight games, including two goals in a 10–3 defeat over Canada in the final round.[46] The Americans won their first U18 title, with Kesler being awarded the Best Player Award for the tournament.[13] Later that year, Kesler was named to the United States national junior team for the 2003 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. He finished the tournament second in team scoring behind Zach Parise with seven points in seven games as the United States lost 3–2 to Finland in the bronze medal game.[47][48] During the tournament, Kesler was twice named the United States' player of the game—in their quarterfinal game versus the Czech Republic and in the bronze medal game versus Finland.[49]

In December 2003, Kesler was released by the Vancouver Canucks to play in the 2004 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, Kesler's second World Junior tournament.[50] Kesler scored two goals as the Americans went a perfect 4–0 to win Pool A and advance to the semifinals.[51] There they defeated Finland 2–1, the team that had defeated them in the previous year's bronze medal game, to advance to the gold medal game versus Canada.[52] In the gold medal game, Kesler scored the game-tying goal 6:58 into the third period to even the score at 3–3.[53] After Canadian goaltender Marc-André Fleury cleared the puck off of teammate Braydon Coburn and into his own net, the Americans took the lead 4–3 and went on to win their first IIHF World U20 Championship in the tournament's history.[53] Kesler's play in the tournament was praised as he often took critical faceoffs and played on the Americans' most offensive line despite suffering a facial injury early in the tournament.[54]

Although having never played for the American national men's team, Kesler was named to the orientation camp for the American team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy held from September 5–8, 2005 in Colorado Springs, Colorado at World Arena.[55] Kesler, one of the youngest players at the camp, did not make the final roster for the Games.[13] Rather, Kesler made his national men's team debut three months after the Olympics at the 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships in Riga, Latvia.[56] Kesler finished the tournament with one point in seven games, assisting on a Yan Stastny goal in the United States' 3–0 victory versus Denmark.[57] He was named the United States' player of the game in their 6–0 quarter-final loss against Sweden.[58]

Having developed into a top defensive forward in recent seasons, Kesler was an early candidate to be selected to the American team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the city in which he plays his NHL hockey.[59][60][61] The United States played Canada in the final game of the preliminary round to determine top spot in the pool. With United States up by a goal in the final minute, Kesler dove past opposing forward Corey Perry to score an empty-netter and secure the 5–3 win. In a rematch between the two teams in the gold medal game, Kesler scored in the second period on a deflection from Patrick Kane, ultimately losing by a score of 3-2 in overtime on Sidney Crosby's game-winning goal.[62]

Personal life

During the hockey season, Kesler and his wife Andrea live with their three dogs in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kitsilano.[63] In the offseason, they return to Livonia.[64] Kesler and his wife have one child, a daughter named Makayla Rylan Kesler who was born in May 2008.[65]

Kesler keeps a Ford Mustang at his parents' home in Livonia, which he enjoys racing.[66] He is also an avid gamer. In March 2010, he was announced to be the cover athlete for the 2K Sports video game NHL 2K11. Kesler had previously worked with 2K Sports, doing motion capture for NHL 2K10.[67]



Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1999–00 Detroit Honeybaked MWEHL 72 44 73 117
2000–01 U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 26 8 20 28 24
2000–01 U.S. National Team Development Program NAHL 56 7 21 28 40
2001–02 U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 46 11 33 44 23
2001–02 U.S. National Team Development Program USHL 13 5 5 10 10
2001–02 U.S. National Team Development Program NAHL 10 5 6 11 4
2002–03 Ohio State University CCHA 40 11 20 31 44
2003–04 Manitoba Moose AHL 33 3 8 11 29
2003–04 Vancouver Canucks NHL 28 2 3 5 16
2004–05 Manitoba Moose AHL 78 30 27 57 105 14 4 5 9 8
2005–06 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 10 13 23 79
2006–07 Vancouver Canucks NHL 48 6 10 16 40 1 0 0 0 0
2007–08 Vancouver Canucks NHL 80 21 16 37 79
2008–09 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 26 33 59 61 10 2 2 4 14
NHL totals 320 65 75 140 275 11 2 2 4 14

International statistics

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
2002 United States U18 8 2 5 7 4
2003 United States WJC 7 3 4 7 6
2004 United States WJC 6 3 0 3 6
2006 United States WC 7 0 1 1 0
2010 United States Oly 6 2 0 2 2
Junior totals 21 8 9 17 16
Senior totals 13 2 1 3 2


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  62. ^ Kuzma, Ben (2009-03-01). "No silver lining for Kesler". The Province. 
  63. ^ Pap, Elliott (2006). "1 on 1: Ryan Kesler". The Vancouver Sun. http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/sports/story.html?id=ed541a52-1530-47d0-9de2-8b893c8d91e2. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  64. ^ Leary, Joe (2008-02-09). "Positively ready". Vancouver Canucks. http://canucks.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=352876. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  65. ^ Ziemer, Brad (2009-02-06). "Defensive specialist Kesler adds some offensive stimulus". The Vancouver Sun. http://www.vancouversun.com/Life/Canucks+Defensive+specialist+Kesler+adds+some+offensive+stimulus/1258252/story.html. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  66. ^ "Ryan Kesler's Inbox". Vancouver Canucks. http://canucks.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=319332. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  67. ^ "Canucks forward Kesler to appear on cover of NHL 2K11". The Sports Network. 2010-03-08. http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/story/?id=313064&hubname=nhl-canucks. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
R. J. Umberger
Vancouver Canucks first round picks
Succeeded by
Cory Schneider

Simple English

Born August 31, 1984 (1984-08-31) (age 26),
Livonia, Michigan
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Right
NHL team Vancouver Canucks
Ntl. team  United States
NHL Draft 23rd overall, 2003
Vancouver Canucks
Playing career 2003 – present

Ryan James Kesler (born August 31, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey center for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Kesler joined the Canucks in 2003 and spent time with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League and Ohio State University.


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