From Beauchemin to Stalberg, we're taking a look at and grading (please read the criteria below) the 2009-10 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Maple Leafs for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2010-11. That means only guys that are still property of the Maple Leafs. We're doing this in concert with Maple Leafs Hot Stove. Next up, Phil Kessel.
#81 / Right Wing / Toronto Maple Leafs
|2009 - Phil Kessel||70||30||25||55||-8||21||8||0||5||0||297||10.1|
Today's Maple Leaf Hot Stove's turn. Garrett Bauman will be taking the reins.
Acquired via a controversial trade during the 2009 offseason in which three draft picks were sent to the Bruins, Kessel rebounded from shoulder surgery to become the Maple Leafs go-to guy in the offensive zone.
Despite missing a month of the season, the electrifying 22-year old winger led the Maple Leafs in several offensive categories while providing the team with a legitimate scoring threat — and their first 30-goal scorer of the post-Sundin era.
Only 22, Kessel has a bright future ahead of him and many suspect it will be only a matter of time before 40-goal seasons become the norm.
Read the Full Profile at Maple Leafs Hot Stove and come over the jump for more.
Rate Kessel below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
What did you think of the chemistry developed between Kessel and Bozak? Did they show you enough to inspire confidence in the pair as part of a future top line in Toronto, or would the acquisition of a more established centre benefit Kessel’s game to a larger degree?