Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Friday evening that the team has obtained the rights to restricted free agent forward Phil Kessel
from the Boston Bruins. In exchange, Boston will receive the Maple Leafs’ first-round draft picks in 2010 and 2011 and their second-round draft pick in 2010. Kessel and the Maple Leafs agreed to terms on a multi-year contract following the trade.
Last season, Kessel, 21, was tied for 12th in NHL goal scoring with a career-high 36 goals and was tied with four others for the second-longest streak for consecutive games with a goal (six games). He posted the NHL’s longest point streak in 2008-09 by collecting a point in 18 straight games from November 13 to December 21 (14g, 14a). With the Bruins last season, he placed fourth in team scoring with 60 points by recording 36 goals and 24 assists while posting a plus 23 rating. His 232 shots led the club and his six game-winners were tied for second on the team. He has 15 points (9g, 6a) in 15 career playoff games.
Kessel was Boston’s first choice, fifth overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was the 2006-07 recipient of the NHL’s Bill Masterton Award which is awarded to the player who exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
The native of Madison, Wisconsin played for Team USA in the 2006, 2007, and 2008 World Hockey Championships and the 2005 and 2006 World Junior Hockey Tournaments. He played one season of college hockey at the University of Minnesota (WCHA) and was named WCHA Rookie of the Year after leading the nation’s rookies in scoring by notching 51 points in 39 games.
Kessel is currently rehabbing from June shoulder surgery and is not expected to join the Maple
Leafs’ lineup until mid-November.