We all know how fast Kessel is, but can anyone who has watched him describe the other aspects of his skating? In particular, I'm interested in his balance and strength on his skates. Does he get knocked off pucks? Can he shield defenders and play strong in tight areas? I ask because this seems to be a major factor that distinguishes a prolific NHL player from an average one or a guy in the AHL. A lot of the current NHL starts are not only very fast, but have great strength too. The best IMO, in no particular order, are: Crosby, Jagr, Forsberg, Modano, Iginla, Ovechkin, Alfredsson, Selanne, and Thornton. Many second tier stars, such as Patrice Bergeron and Saku Koivu also have underated strength on their skates. From what I've seen of Kessel, he does not have the characteristic bow legged stride that marks many of the strongest skaters. He is more of a straight away burner like Mogilny. But I really haven't seen enough of him to judge, and when I did see him he was pretty young. So for those of you who have watched him play, would you say his center of gravity is a strength, weakness, or neither? Also, how does he compare to draft competition like Toews and Backstrom in this regard? Thanks in advance.