This installment puts us at about the halfway point in the forwards section of the feature. We're officially two weeks away from dropping the puck in Vancouver, and I won't say that this is the year for the U.S. Men to take home Olympic gold, but I'm much more hopeful than I was in '04. Ultimately, I don't care if flippin' Canadians are predicting that Canadians will take home more gold than anyone else. Help your freaking selves. You win that luge. You dominate that ice dancing. Best of luck to you in the snowboard competition. What I'm talking about is your sport. The one you invented. The one you've dominated at for so long. The one you won gold in in men's and women's hockey in 2002. In our country. Now we're comin' to your house. We're bringing a solid, energetic version of your game. And we, Canadia, plan on embarrassing you moose fuckers. Be advised.
Phil Kessel is one of the only fellas on this roster who's experienced a trade in his young career. In the 2006 NHL draft, he was taken in the first round (fifth overall) by the Boston Bruins. He spent three seasons in Beantown and amassed 126 points in that span. Unfortunately for him, he was then shipped up to Canada, and now he makes a living playing offense for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has shown significant improvement with each successive season in the pros, and he's already more than halfway to season highs in goals, assists, and of course, points.
He matriculated at the University of Minnesota, but spent only one season as a Golden Gopher before being selected by the Bruins, and in his rookie season, he won the Bill Masterton Memorial (sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to hockey) Trophy. Kessel comes from an athletic family, as his pops was a Washington Redskins quarterback for a minute, his ma' ran her some track, he has a cousin and a brother in the NHL, and his sister can light the lamp as well. And by "light the lamp," I mean score. And by "score," I mean put some wood on it.