When the Ducks made their first-ever draft pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, they selected Paul Kariya at No. 4. He was a Hobey Baker winner at Maine, so he entered the NHL with high expectations.
Some years later, the Ducks acquired Teemu Selanne in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets, and how well it would turn out to be.
Kariya and Selanne were perfect together and formed one of the best duos of all time. When they entered the Hall of Fame, they did it together. They even traveled to Toronto together and walked into the Hall of Fame news conference side-by-side.
Paul Kariya finished his NHL career with 989 points in 989 games. Teemu Selanne tallied 1,457 points in 1,451 games. And they wouldn’t have done it without the help of the other. Selanne and Kariya weren’t just teammates. They were best friends. And to this day, they’re still very close.
But it didn’t exactly spark the first they met. On the podcast ”From Mighty’ Til Now,” Teemu Selanne revealed that he thought Kariya was a fan the first time he saw him.
”The very first time we met… This was in Toronto, it’s the NHL Awards, and you were the college player of the year, and I was rookie of the year,” Selanne said to Kariya on the Podcast.
”And I remember this little Japanese boy sitting down. And I just thought, ’I didn’t know they let fans in here.’ The ceremony started, and they presented the College Player of the Year, and it’s Paul Kariya. He got up, and I was just like, ’F*ck, this guy plays hockey!?’ That was actually the first time I met Paul.”
Well, their relationship got better, and now they’re both legends of the game. What an awesome story!