In keeping with the theme of looking ahead, I decided to do a series of player profiles as we count down the next 6 weeks until hockey returns.
Ryan Kesler is known for his defensive/offensive playing style and his sheer will to win at all costs. Fans will be hoping to see his tenacious wrist shot making many appearances next season.
Ryan Kesler NHL career began when he was drafted 23rd overall in the 2003 NHL Entry draft by the Vancouver Canucks. It was clear from his time with the Canucks AHL affiliate team that he was going to be a star player with the Canucks when called upon. Interesting to note that some of those Moose teammates are his current Canuck teammates today: Kevin Bieksa and Alex Burrows played with Mr.Kesler during his time in Manitoba [they were all called up at various times during the 2005/2006 season before cementing their place with the team the following year].
Prior to the 2006-2007 campaign, Kesler signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers only to have the Canucks match that offer in 2 days…and the rest as they say is history! Can you imagine Kesler not in Canuck colors…but in Philadelphia’s black and orange? Perish the thought! I am glad the Canucks took the gamble in keeping him a Canuck.
Early on, Ryan Kesler and pesky Burrows were pests to their opponents and developed a knack for killing penalties together developing into one of the team’s current top PK units. It is his strong defensive play that has helped solidify him as one of the top two-way forwards.
He has been successful in his play not just with the Canucks but also with his team USA at the international level winning the 2002 U18 Tournament Gold medal, the 2004 World Juniors Gold medal and how can we forget the 2010 Silver medal and of course winning the 2011 Frank J Selke award!
Kesler has a level of compete in his game that fans have dubbed #beastmode…a level that was most evident in the 2010-2011 season, a level that all will be hoping to see when the calendar turns to October 3rd. His compete level will rely heavily on him remaining healthy for the majority of the 82 game schedule [no breaking his foot twice!]. If Kesler can remain healthy for the year…he could have another breakout season much like he did in the 2010-2011 season.
As we get closer to the season beginning…here are a few #KESLER highlights to keep you going until October 3rd:
Remember this #RK17 moment #CanuckNation? clue: #hattrick
Or how about this other awesome moment in #CanuckHistory? clue: #round3
Or this beauty? clue: #blackhawks
Any other favourite Kesler moments [there were lots to choose from!]? Seeing the highlights once again reminds me of how incredible Kes can play when he’s at the top of his game and how we are lucky to have his skill level on the team each and every year. When at the top of his game playing his unstoppable #beastmode style drives the opponent crazy. Here’s hoping we see that high compete level when the team returns for training camp/pre-season in 3 weeks!
Cannot wait to see #RK17 hit the ice with the team scoring goals & shutting down the opponents offense!
As always, until next time, nuck said.