Blake Kessel has a name recognizable to most in the hockey world. He just wants to make his own a household one as well.
Younger brother to Boston Bruins young star Phil, Blake Kessel is trying to serve notice there is.
The two Kessel brothers share a normal sibling relationship.
“There still is competition, we get pretty intense, our family has always been competitive,” said Kessel.
The two brothers spent the summers together using each other to advance their hockey skills.
“He (Phil) helps me with every little thing out there,” said the 2007 sixth round pick of the New York Islanders.
Kessel is trying to help himself with his first International hockey event and is excited about the experience.
“It’s an unbelievable, it’s kinda unreal you walk in the locker room see the jersey, the number on and then you hit the ice,” said the 18-year-old defenceman with a huge smile.
“And you’re like ‘Wow’, there is another country there and you’re playing with all best guys around the U.S., its unbelievable feeling, can’t even explain it.”
Team USA coach P.K. O’Handley has no trouble explaining why Kessel will be an important part of this team’s success.
“Kessel is a solid two way player who understands his strengths and limitations - very mature for his age, very mature,” said O’Handley.
O’Handley named Kessel an assistant captain of Team USA because of his strengths of poise, competitiveness and level headedness.
Kessel acknowledges how fortunate his team is to play in the WJAC and in the south Kootenay region.
“Unbelievable scenery, great town, they’re really nice up here, treat us really well and have everything for us,” said the 18-year-old defenceman.
Kessel and his teammates are looking forward to their game Wednesday night when they will face Team Canada East in Nelson.