Photos: Ryan Kesler's Canucks career, from teen to supreme


Since being drafted in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2003 NHL entry draft, Ryan Kesler evolved into a heart-and-soul player for the Vancouver Canucks. Here's a look at the evolution of his career in Vancouver, from draft day to Frank J. Selke Trophy winner in 2011.

<div id="page1">A fresh-faced Ryan Kesler talks to Vancouver reporters at his first NHL development camp in August 2003, two months after he was taken in the first round of the NHL entry draft by the Canucks.</div>

A fresh-faced Ryan Kesler talks to Vancouver reporters at his first NHL development camp in August 2003, two months after he was taken in the first round of the NHL entry draft by the Canucks.

Photograph by: Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun files

<div id="page1">A fresh-faced Ryan Kesler talks to Vancouver reporters at his first NHL development camp in August 2003, two months after he was taken in the first round of the NHL entry draft by the Canucks.</div>
Canucks rookie Ryan Kesler just after he got a pie in the face at the annual Canucks super skills contest in December 2003.
Canucks prospect Ryan Kesler takes part in dryland training in August 2003 at the Canucks prospects camp.
Ryan Kesler's official rookie portrait shot with the Vancouver Canucks, September 2003.
A young Ryan Kesler celebrates a goal against the Nashville Predators, circa 2004.
Back in the NHL after the season-long lockout, Vancouver Canuck Ryan Kesler celebrates a goal against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs and an unhappy Tie Domi at GM Place during the 2005-06 campaign.
Ryan Kesler chats with six-year-old Sarah Risvold in the third-floor playroom at B.C. Children's Hospital in December 2005.
Ryan Kesler takes it on the chops from Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla during a fight at the Penngrowth Saddledome in Calgary during the 2005-06 NHL season.
He sure likes to mix it up, doesn't he? Ryan Kesler (left) scraps with the Minnesota Wild's Stephane Veilleux during the 2005-06 NHL season at GM Place.
Ryan Kesler (left) hangs out with teammate Todd Bertuzzi in the team's dressing room as the Canucks close the book on their 2005-06 season. Only two months later, Bertuzzi will be an ex-teammate as he's traded to the Florida Panthers for, among others, goalie Roberto Luongo.
Ryan Kesler gets acquainted with a new head coach in Alain Vigneault (right) at the latter's first training camp with the NHL team in September 2006. That camp was held in Vernon in the B.C. Interior.
Vancouver Canuck Ryan Kesler, just off major hip surgery, deals at the Canucks' annual Dice & Ice benefit in February 2007.
Vancouver Canucks Ryan Kesler (right) and captain Markus Naslund are all business during a team practice at the Agrodome in October 2007.
Canucks Ryan Kesler (left) and Sami Salo are relaxed during a Canucks practic at GM Place in the 2007-08 NHL season.
New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro has evidently had enough of Ryan Kesler, whacking him over the head with his glove during a January 2008 NHL game at GM Place.
Canucks centre Ryan Kesler autographs a copy of the Raise a Reader edition of The Vancouver Sun for Becky Gigian in September 2008.
Ryan Kesler looks for an opening in this shorthanded breakaway &#8212; he would score &#8212; against the Florida Panthers during this NHL game at GM Place in December 2008.
Ooooh, that smarts! Ryan Kesler skates off the ice after suffering an injury against the host Dallas Stars in an NHL game at the American Airlines Center in March 2009.
Ryan Kesler puts his arm on the shoulder of teammate Taylor Pyatt at an April 24, 2009 practice, in Pyatt's return to the Canucks after the death of his girlfriend in a car crash.
Vancouver Canucks star Ryan Kesler plays Silna Cownay in a game of Wii ping pong at the Sports Celebrities Festival in support of the Canucks for Kids Fund and the BC Special Olympics in Vancouver in October 2009.
Vancouver Canuck star Ryan Kesler (centre) and teamate Alex Burrows (right) take in an NBA exhibition game in October 2009 at GM Place.
Makayla Kesler and her dad, Canucks star Ryan Kesler, take in the annual Canucks Superskills competition at General Motors Place last January.
USA forward Ryan Kesler celebrates a goal against Canada during the men's gold medal hockey game at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver's Canada Hockey Place on Feb. 28.
Ryan Kesler of the United States finds it tough going accepting an Olympic silver medal after his team came so close to knocking off Canada in the championship game at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics on Feb. 28. The U.S., powered by Kesler's play, pushed Canada to overtime before succumbing 3-2 on Sidney Crosby's golden goal.
Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks talks about his contract with reporters on Friday at GM Place.
Heavy hitting marketer John Catliff &#8212; former Helly Hansen global vice-president sales, Aritzia director business development, Umbro Canada vice-president operations &#8212; is not only on Thom&#8217;s team, he&#8217;s brought NHL stars Ryan Kesler (shown here), Russ Courtnall and Brendan Morrison along for the ride.
Ryan Kesler of  the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his first-period goal against the  Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at Rogers Arena. His second goal of the  night forced overtime and eventually a shootout.
Sharoo Kanwar (right), age 14,) had his picture taken with  Vancouver Canucks player Ryan Kesler (left) by his mom at Children's Hospital  in Vancouver December 6.
The Canucks' most valuable player midway through this season? Ryan Kesler (above) in a cakewalk with nearly 80 per cent support of readers, followed well back by Henrik Sedin at nearly 12 per cent, brother Daniel at around eight per cent, and Alex Edler and Roberto Luongo at just over one per cent each.
Young fan Sean Dolphin looks on as Vancouver Canucks star Ryan Kesler skates past the glass prior to a Feb. 2011 NHL game at Rogers Arena against the Boston Bruins.
Ryan Kesler is presented the Vancouver Canucks' most exciting player award by former Canuck Dave (Tiger) Williams prior to the Canucks' final regular season game of the 2010-11 NHL season.
Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks wets his hair during the team's game against the visiting Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena on March 31, 2011. The Canucks won 3-1 and captured the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top regular season team.
A smiling Ryan Kesler talks about Game 4 of the Canucks-Chicago Blackhawks series in April 2011, a seven-game set in which he held Blackhawks star captain Jonathan Toews to a single goal.
Ryan Kesler &#8212; fat lip, missing tooth and all &#8212; celebrates his goal on Saturday, May 7, 2011 against the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their second-round NHL playoff series at Rogers Arena. Kesler had an outstanding performance yet again that night, though his team fell short in a 4-3 loss. Two nights later, the Canucks would clinch the series in Music City with Kesler again leading the way with a two-point night in a 2-1 win.
Ryan Kesler tries to give his Vancouver Canucks an emotional lift, tagging Boston Bruins defenceman Dennis Seidenberg with a right hand during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final at Boston's TD Garden on June 6, 2011. The Canucks took an 8-1 drubbing in that game.
A bearded Ryan Kesler (left), along with teammate Chris Higgins, hold forth for the media in the buildup to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins on June 14, 2011 in downtown Vancouver.
Vancouver Canuck Ryan Kesler, winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward, shows off his new hardware at the NHL's annual awards show on June 22, 2011 in Las Vegas.

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