PORTLAND, ME – February 17, 2019 – The Mariners announced the acquisition of defenseman Blake Kessel from the Jacksonville IceMen on Sunday. In exchange, the Mariners send future considerations to Jacksonville. Blake is the younger brother of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel.
A native of Verona, WI, Kessel was drafted at the age of 18 by the New York Islanders in the 6th round of the 2007 NHL draft. He played for three seasons at the University of New Hampshire before beginning his pro career with the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms in 2011. Since his rookie season, he’s played primarily in the ECHL with six different organizations (Trenton, Bakersfield, Orlando, Atlanta, Kalamazoo, and Jacksonville), but has also suited up for five AHL teams (Adirondack, Rockford, Rochester, Toronto, and Milwaukee). The well-traveled blue liner has played 193 career ECHL games and 85 in the AHL.
Kessel has been a solid point producer on the back end over his ECHL career. With 137 career points, he’s put up three seasons of 30 points or more. He was named an ECHL All-Star in 2014-15 while with Orlando, and had his best offensive season in 2016-17, when he put up 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists) between Atlanta and Kalamazoo. Kessel has also played overseas in Finland, Germany, and Slovakia (last season). This season in 7 games with Jacksonville, he has one goal and two assists.
The Mariners are in the midst of a five game road trip, playing next on Wednesday night in Reading at 7:00 PM. They will then travel to Glens Falls, NY and Manchester, NH over the weekend. The next home game is Sunday, February 24th at 3:00 PM against the Worcester Railers. A full team autograph session will follow the game. Single game tickets can be purchased HERE or by visiting or calling the Trusted Choice Box Office: 207-775-3458.