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Phil Kessel: NHL Break-out Player

Chris WilsonContributor IOctober 20, 2008

When I enter my special fantasy pool, picking seven players who are classified as (A), seven as (B) and seven as (C), with one extra player who isn't on the list, my eyes light up whenever I don't see Phil Kessel on that list.

Each season he's played, this young player has gotten better. In his rookie season, which was shortened by testicular cancer, he scored 11 goals and got 18 assists for 29 points, in 70 games.

Not a bad season for a young player—especially for such a young man going through those trials just before the season began.

If he were healthy, maybe I wouldn't be considering 29 points "not bad," in fact I'd consider it average.

Last year, his second year in the NHL, was better for him. He scored 19 goals, and handed out 18 assists, for 37 points, playing all 82 games—a solid improvement.

This season will be big for Kessel. He has all the tools to be a top contributor for the Boston Bruins, and playing with Marc Savard, an assist Guru, will help him a lot.  Thus far seen this season with four goals and one assist in the first four games. A goal per game isn't bad.

He obviously will not keep up that pace, but he will definitely go over 20 goals for the first time in his young career.

I expect him to almost double last year's production: 38-42 goals and 25-30 assists.

Phil Kessel was my write-in choice and so far, so good. Now, I just need the real stars like Ovechkin to start lighting it up and everything will be great.


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