The 22-year-old Kessel spent the past three seasons at the University of New Hampshire and was teammates with James van Riemsdyk for one season. Kessel had 5 goals and 22 assists as a junior last season.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Kessel spent two seasons with Waterloo of the USHL before attending UNH. He is also a cousin of Calgary Flames forward David Moss.
I've got a lot of experience and there's a lot of young guys. It's even making me excited a little more. It's kind of a new life. At my age, I feel like I know a lot of things what to do, but I just cannot do it anymore. It's a lot easier to tell them what to do because they've still got the legs and hands to do it. I just know things, but I cannot do them anymore.
— Jaromir Jagr after making his Panthers debut in a win against the Sabres on Saturday