Former Black Hawk Kessel Named to US World Junior Hockey Team - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Former Black Hawk Kessel Named to US World Junior Hockey Team

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WATERLOO (KWWL)--USA Hockey announced the roster for the 2009 World Junior Championships Wednesday, including former Black Hawk Blake Kessel.  The 22-member team will represent the United States in Ottawa from December 26th through January 5th against the top under-20 players from around the world.

"It's a great honor for Blake.  He's worked extremely hard for the opportunity.  Blake obviously had success here, and I think it's exciting for him and for the Black Hawks," said Waterloo Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O'Handley.

O'Handley will also being going to Ottawa, as an assistant coach for the United States team.

Kessel was a member of the Black Hawks from 2006 through 2008.  Last season, he was the Black Hawks second-leading scorer and the USHL's Defenseman of the Year.  In his career with Waterloo, Kessel played in 118 regular season games, scoring 30 goals with 65 assists.  In an additional 20 playoff games, Kessel had two more goals and set-up another 15.  He was on two Black Hawk teams that played for the Clark Cup.

Away from the Hawks, Kessel was a member of the 2007 U.S. Junior Select Team which competed last fall in the World Junior A Challenge and won a bronze medal.  He was also selected during the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in the sixth round by the New York Islanders.  This year, Kessel is a freshman with the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.  He has appeared in all 14 Wildcat games with a team-leading +7 rating.

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