Ryan Kesler is the NHL 2K11 cover athlete

First he won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics, and now he'll be on the cover of the Wii-exclusive NHL 2K11. Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler sounds genuinely excited about the opportunity, telling The Canadian Press that the only way he thought he'd ever end up on a game cover was "if I put my own picture on there."

"It's a dream come true for me," Kesler, ever the good spokesplayer, said. "I grew up playing, and to be on the cover of 2K is unbelievable."

Kesler confirmed that he got in his motion capture time for the game last year with 2K10 cover athlete Alexander Ovechkin. "I'm not a flashy scorer like Ovechkin, by any means, but I think I'm exciting in my own right," Kesler observed, suggesting that his Olympic performance was what attracted publisher Take-Two to his game ... face.

Hopefully, for Kesler's sake, there's no equivalent "Madden Curse" for NHL games. Hockey players are already doomed to lose all their teeth anyway. NHL 2K11 will be out this fall.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.