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Report: Leafs acquire Kessel from Bruins for picks

Friday, 09.18.2009 / 7:38 PM / News

By NHL.com Staff

Phil Kessel has been rumored to be on the go for months now, and he landed Friday night in Toronto.

According to TSN, the Boston Bruins traded the talented young forward to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a pair of first-round draft picks and a second-rounder. The trade was contingent on Kessel signing a contract with his new team, which he did by agreeing to a five-year, $27 million deal, TSN reported.

Kessel, who turns 22 on Oct. 2, has already overcome testicular cancer and emerged as a future star in just three NHL seasons. The fifth pick in the 2006 Entry Draft debuted with the Bruins the following season and had his breakthrough year in 2008-09, scoring 36 goals as Boston finished first in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto's interest in Kessel, a restricted free agent, dates as far back as this summer's draft, when the Leafs were reportedly set to send defenseman Tomas Kaberle to Boston in return. But miscommunication over a draft pick to be included in the trade was blamed for it eventually falling apart.

In the end, the Leafs will give up first- and second-round picks in the 2010 Entry Draft and another first-round pick the following year.

Kessel has registered 66 goals and 126 points in 222 regular-season games, adding nine goals and 15 points in 15 playoff games. Bruins coach Claude Julien scratched him from three games in a first-round loss to Montreal in 2008, but Kessel came back to score three goals in the series and his production took a big leap forward last season.

Rotator cuff surgery in the offseason has Kessel sidelined until at least November. He was previously awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey after returning to play in the 2006-07 season following the battle with cancer.

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory