Aug. 18, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State men’s hockey forward Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich.) has signed a professional contract with the Vancouver Canucks and will forego his remaining three years of eligibility with the Buckeyes. Kesler was selected by the Canucks in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft with the 23rd overall pick.

“We’re sorry to see Ryan turn professional after his freshman season,” John Markell, OSU head coach, said. “We wish him good luck in his career.”

Kesler, the Buckeyes’ George Burke Most Valuable Freshman last year, played in 40 games with the Buckeyes, posting 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points to rank fourth on the squad. He received CCHA All-Rookie Team honorable mention accolades and was a three-time league rookie of the week. Kesler competed for the United States at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championships, earning player of the game honors against both the Czech and Finnish teams. He ranked second on the U.S. squad with seven points in the tournament.