Kesler won a gold medal, alongside Olympic teammates Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, at the 2004 World Junior Championship to win the first-ever gold medal for the U.S. at the event. He had his first taste of international gold in 2002, winning the World Under-18 Championship.
He recorded 72 points (19-53-72) in 72 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2000-01 and 2001-02. He joins six other NTDP alumni (Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, Mike Komisarek, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson and Ryan Suter) on the 2010 Olympic roster.
Kesler was the 2009 runner-up for the NHL’s Selke Trophy, awarded to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.
He is one of seven Vancouver Canucks on Olympic rosters. Along with the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings, the Canucks have the second most players named to Olympic teams.
I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.
— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh