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Paul Kariya

Photo of Paul Kariya

Paul attended the University of Maine to played D1 for the Maine Black Bears. In his freshmen year Paul led his team to a National Championship. The team posted 42 wins with just one loss and two ties, while Kariya produced elite numbers scoring 25 goals and reaching the 100-point mark. Due to his incredible season he would become the first freshman in NCAA history to be awarded the Hobey Baker Award. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim drafted Paul with the fourth overall selection in the NHL Entry Draft. Paul would return to college for one more year but joined Team Canada for the 1994 Winter Olympics winning a silver medal. Paul decided to turn pro the following season and in 47 games, led the team with 18 goals and 39 points. He was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team and was a finalist for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. During Kariya’s second season, he was chosen to play in the 1996 NHL All-Star Game. Less than a month later, the Mighty Ducks acquired Teemu Selanne from the Winnipeg Jets. Selänne and Kariya would play on the same line for several seasons, the two wingers formed one of the NHL’s highest scoring duos. Kariya finished the season with 50 goals and 58 assists for 108 points, tying Selanne for seventh in league scoring. After nine seasons with the Mighty Ducks Paul signed with the Colorado Avalanche. He left as the team’s all-time leader in game played with 606, 300 goals, 369 assists and 669. In 05 -06 after the lock-out Kariya signed a contract with the Nashville Predators. In his first season, Kariya set team records with 31 goals, 54 assists for 85 points. The following season Kariya lead the team in scoring again with 76 points, the Predators set a new team record with 51 wins and 110 points. Kariya would then go to St. Louis and continue to produce points before sustaining a hip injury. Paul’s dominant skill was not only showcased on the NHL stage. He was a member of the gold medal Canadian team at the World Juniors in 93, won a gold medal at the World Championships in 94 and a silver in 96. Won a silver medal at the Olympics in 1994 and gold in Salt Lake City in 2002. Paul would finish his career with 1135 GP, 418 goals, 610 assists for 1028 points and is now a member of the hockey hall of fame.