Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Rick Kessell
Rick Kessel was a fine playmaking centre who played with the Pittsburgh Penguins and California Golden Seals in the early 1970s. During his career he excelled in junior, the minors and senior hockey.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Kessel was first noticed after scoring nearly two points per game for the Markham Mauraders in 1966-67. He then moved on to play in the OHA for the Toronto Marlboros, London Knights and Oshawa Generals. While skating for the Gens in 1968-69, Kessel led the OHA with 66 assists playing on a line with Bob Kelly and Fred O'Donnell.

Kessel was the first round draft pick, 15th overall, by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1969 Amateur Draft. He spent most of his first three pro seasons gaining experience in the AHL and CHL while dressing occasionally for the Pens. On March 21, 1970 he scored less than two minutes into his first game. The next season he was penciled in as a regular but his season was marred by a water skiing accident in the summer that left him with a badly fractured ankle. In 1972-73 Kessel played a regular shift for the Penguins but was claimed by the Seals after the season via the NHL Reverse Draft.

After playing 51 games as a penalty killer for California in 1973-74, Kessel returned to the minors for three seasons. In 1974-75 he recorded a personal high of 67 points for the AHL's New Haven Nighthawks. In 1978, Kessel retired after playing two seasons with the Whitby Warriors of the OHA senior circuit.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1965-66 Toronto Midget Marlboros THL
1965-66 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 2 0 0 0 0
1966-67 Markham Waxers ON-Jr.B 35 29 27 56
1967-68 Markham Waxers ON-Jr.B
1967-68 Toronto Marlboros OHA-Jr. 14 1 3 4 2
1967-68 London Nationals OHA-Jr. 16 2 2 4 0
1968-69 Oshawa Generals OHA-Jr. 53 26 66 92 8
1969-70 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 8 1 2 3 0 0
1969-70 Baltimore Clippers AHL 52 15 21 36 6 5 1 1 2 0
1970-71 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 6 0 2 2 2 +1
1970-71 Amarillo Wranglers CHL 62 31 38 69 10
1971-72 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 3 0 1 1 0 -1
1971-72 Hershey Bears AHL 54 24 19 43 12
1972-73 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 67 1 13 14 0 -9
1973-74 California Golden Seals NHL 51 2 6 8 4 -4
1974-75 Salt Lake Golden Eagles CHL 8 1 4 5 2
1974-75 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 60 21 46 67 16 16 4 9 13 2
1975-76 Salt Lake Golden Eagles CHL 54 16 39 55 19 5 2 3 5 2
1976-77 Whitby Warriors OHA-Sr. 34 9 17 26 6
1977-78 Whitby Warriors OHA-Sr. 32 12 17 29 18
1978-79
1979-80 Georgetown Gyros GBSHL
1980-81 Georgetown Gyros OHA-Sr. 36 18 49 67
NHL Totals 135 4 24 28 6


Claimed by California (Salt Lake-CHL) from Pittsburgh in Reverse Draft, June 13, 1973.