FUTURE WATCH: Kale Kessy
It’s a career setting kind of year for Kale Kessy.
In 60 games, with three different teams, the Medicine Hat Tigers, Vancouver Giants and now, the Kamloops Blazers, he notched career highs in goals with 21 and points with 43.
And it doesn’t stop there. In just ten games in the post-season with the Blazers, Kessy has eleven goals and 13 points.
“I don’t know if I’m getting more chances but I’ve been playing the same game I’ve always have. Playing in the dirty area, in front of the net and my linemates have been doing a really good job, and I’ve probably have had a few open net tap-ins for sure.”
It has been 13 years, since 1998-99, that the Kamloops Blazers have moved past the first round of playoffs and Kessy has been one of the reasons why. He scored seven of his eleven goals in the first round and recorded two hat tricks in the six-game series.
In the second round, the WHL Western Conference Semi-Finals, the Blazers swept the Kelowna Rockets in just four-games.
“It’s definitely nice to get a sweep but you never go into a series expecting you’ll sweep the team. You always prepare for a seven-game series. It’s the playoff and anything can happen. We knew they had a good team and they were well coached. We’re just trying to play our game and execute our system and I think we did a good job of that.”
Kessy’s ten goals in the post-season has him currently tied with Portland Winterhawks forward, Ty Rattie, which coincidentally, are their next opponents as they fight for the WHL Western Conference Championship title.
“You definitely have to be aware when those guys are on the ice. They’re very talent and Ty Rattie has been a proven scorer in the league for the last few years and he’s definitely one of their top players. You definitely have to be aware when they’re on the ice but you have to limit their time and space with the puck and make it hard for them.”
During the regular season, the two teams met three times, where the Winterhawks recorded one shutout while winning the series, two games to one.
“They’re a good skill team and they have a lot of talented players, starting with their goalie, defence and forwards. They’re a well rounded team and we’ve just got to play our game and we’ve got to play physical on them and hopefully we’ll play our game and go in there and be well prepared and not worry about their game but just worry about how we’re playing and the rest will take care of themselves.
Kessy is currently in his last year of juniors and said he doesn’t regret anything and looking forward to continuing his future in hockey.
“It’s a lot of fun especially since it’s my last year of junior, I want to make it a memorable one. We have a great group of guys here in the locker room so it’s definitely something we’re looking forward to and I’m just happy I’ve got this opportunity to be part of the Kamloops.”
“I’m just trying to play my game and try to be good in dirty areas down low in front of the net. I know what makes me successful. I’ve got a lot of good linemates here that I play with who are flashier and I’m trying to open up space for those guys. They’ve been doing a really good job and they’ve been giving me the puck in the dirty areas there and I’ve had a few open net tap ins but I’m not going to change anything, I’m going to keep playing my game.