Undersized but tenacious winger with good vision and passing ability. A long-term project who could grow into an effective bottom-six forward in the NHL.
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May 2022 – It was a difficult season for Kressler after signing with the Leafs following a strong performance at the team’s development camp as an undrafted invite. He got off to a solid start upon his return to Flint in the OHL but suffered a UCL injury in January that limited him to a total of just 28 regular season contests in which he registered five goals and 11 assists. He returned in time for the postseason and has added another six points through 14 games with the Firebirds currently playing in the OHL semifinals against Windsor. Kressler was always going to be a long-term project and he will look to get his development back on track as he returns for another season of junior hockey in 2022-23. Nick Richard
October 2021 – Kressler’s production in his draft-1 season with the Flint Firebirds wasn’t enough to earn him a selection in the 2021 NHL Draft after he went his entire draft year without playing meaningful hockey due to the pandemic shutting down the OHL. Instead, he accepted an invitation to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ development camp and showed well enough through the Traverse City Prospects Tournament to earn himself a three-year, entry level contract with the organization. For a team like Toronto who had only three picks in the 2021 draft, essentially buying another late-round pick from that draft class is a savvy move.
Kressler is undersized at just 5-9 and 165 pounds but he makes up for it with his tenacity and work ethic. He is an agile skater, though still lacks some explosiveness that should come as he matures physically, and is able to work between checks off the puck. He goes to the dirty spots on the ice, competing hard along the boards and positioning himself in dangerous scoring areas around the net. Kressler’s shot is deceptive and like his skating, should only become more powerful as he gets stronger. He has good vision and an understanding of where the soft spots are in the offensive zone, holds onto the puck to draw in defenders, and can complete creative slip passes under pressure. He consistently funnels pucks into high-danger areas and doesn’t hesitate to take them there himself when the opportunity presents itself. It is difficult to gauge exactly where Kressler is in his development curve after missing his entire draft season but there are some enticing traits in his skillset. It will be interesting to monitor his progress as he returns to the OHL in 2021-22 and he has the potential to eventually grow into an energy player who can chip in with some secondary offense at the professional level. Nick Richard
|2017-2018||Mississauga Senators U16 AAA||OHL Cup||4||0||1||1||2||||
|2018-2019||Mississauga Senators U16 AAA||GTHL U16||33||12||17||29||8||||
|Team GTHL Blue||OGC-16||4||2||3||5||0||||
|Canada Red U17||WHC-17||5||0||2||2||0||||