Every team in the National Hockey League needs
Adding some grit and sandpaper to the lineup will
make your club a competitive one.
The Phoenix Coyotes added a gritty, depth player at
the 2011 NHL Entry Draft when they selected Kale Kessy, now with the Western
Hockey League's Kamloops Blazers, with the 111th overall selection.
The Shaunavon, Saskatchewan led the Medicine Hats
Tigers in penalty minutes in 2009-10 as a 17-year-old. However, he also
registered 11 goals and 18 assists that year.
The following year in Medicine Hat, he brought the gritty,
physical play but did not bring much offense.
He scored 10 goals and 14 assists in 64 games
played. In addition, he racked up 129 penalty minutes.
His minutes in the sin bin went up the subsequent
year to 151, but his offensive production went south, with just 16 points in 46
Kessy drew three suspensions that year.
This season, Kessy started his overage season with
the Tigers but was traded on October 12, 2012 to the Vancouver Giants.
While in Vancouver, he saw a slight bright spot in
production, but not very much.
In 27 games for the Giants, Kessy recorded 16 points
and registered 51 penalty minutes.
His time in Vancouver was short. Kessy was traded
once again in January to the Kamloops Blazers for forward Rob Trzonkowski.
In his first contest with the Blazers, Kessy scored
two goals and made an impact with the team right away. But so far, he has four
points in eight games for the Blazers and 16 penalty minutes.
It is clear that offense is not Kessy's strength and
I think Kessy is well aware of that.
His no nonsense, sandpaper style of play will make
him a formidable opponent for a team's top stars.
Kessy plays an aggressive game and he loves to play
the body and hit anything that moves. Moreover, he is a tremendous energy
player and uses every bit of his 6-3 frame.
Kessy will be a third or fourth line player in the
pros. His grinding style reminds me of Brandon Prust, who like Kessy relishes
his role as a grinder and agitator.