Phil Kessel: The Leafs best hope for the Art Ross since Gordie Drillon

Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs sniper Phil Kessel. Photo by Clyde Caplan, clydeorama.com

The NHL Art Ross winner is someone Leaf fans don’t cheer for unless it’s because he is a key player on their fantasy hockey team. However, this season, loyal members of Leaf Nation may be able to enjoy one of their own challenge for a scoring title.

Since joining the Toronto Maple Leafs as the sole returning piece in a trade that sent multiple draft picks to the Boston Bruins, Phil Kessel has done nothing but score goals.

As of right now, Kessel sits tied for second in NHL scoring with Steven Stamkos. Both snipers have compiled 18 points this season, trailing only Sidney Crosby who has 20.

Over the last three NHL seasons, only Stamkos has recorded more points than Phil. For various reasons, Sidney Crosby, Martin St. Louis, Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeni Malkin don’t even have the offensive numbers the Leafs number 81 has posted since the beginning of the 2010-11 campaign. Kessel’s offensive potency is deadly and consistent.

Often criticized for his lack of competitive spirit in situations without the puck, Kessel more than makes up for it on most nights with dynamic offensive explosiveness that ultimately plays a huge factor in the difference between winning and losing.

Kessel is in the mix to potentially win the Art Ross this season. If he can pull it off he’ll become the first Leaf to lead the league in scoring since Gordie Drillon back in the 1937-38 season – pre Art Ross era.

Watch Phil Kessel tally 4 points against the Edmonton OilersVideo courtesy of the NHL’s YouTube Channel. Subscribe here