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Finnish born player, Teemu Selanne entered the league in 1992 with an unforgettable bang in his rookie year. The success the Finnish Flash displayed in his first season with Winnipeg would go on to follow him throughout his career in California. One of the greatest players to touch the ice, Five for Howling looks back at his first season with the Winnipeg Jets.
The 1988 NHL Entry Draft yielded draftees Mike Modano and future Coyotes' Darrin Shannon and Jeremy Roenick, all in the first round. The star studded affair was in full swing when time came for Winnipeg Jets' General Managers Mike Smith and John Ferguson alongside head coach Dan Maloney, to make their selection. With the 10th overall pick, the Winnipeg Jets chose Jokerit's Teemu Selanne.
The Finnish Flash, a moniker that still stands today, opted to stay in Finland with the Finnish SM-liiga's Jokerit where he had previously played for their junior team. Through three seasons with Jokerit, Teemu appeared in 97 games, racking up 76 goals and 132 points. Deciding to make the jump from Finland to Winnipeg, Selanne landed in North America in time for the '92-'93 campaign.
Looking to wear his now infamous number 8, the Finnish rookie settled on the number 13 as Randy Carlyle, future head coach of Selanne's Stanley Cup winning Ducks team, held the number for the Jets. Despite his first incident involving either a teammate or the team, the blistering slap shot, speed, and skill that the then 22-year old possessed, brought a breath of fresh air to the province's capital. In just his second game with the Jets, Selanne scored for the first time in an overtime loss against his future team, the San Jose Sharks. From October 8th until March 2, 1993, Selanne would go on to score 50 more goals. Now only three goals away from tying Mike Bossy's '77-'78 season record for goals by a rookie, fans flocked to the Winnipeg Arena to witness history in the making. With much excitement surrounding him, the Finnish Flash took to the ice for Tuesday night's warm-ups against the Quebec Nordiques in hopes to continue his point streak.
That night saw Selanne score not one, not two, but three goals. Selanne, surpassing the record that stood untouched for 16 years celebrated the record breaking goal by flinging his glove into the air, kneeling down, taking aim and firing three shots with his stick to solidify the Finnish born player's place in the NHL's record books. The scoring didn't end there as Teemu went on to score 22 more goals, finishing his rookie season with 76 goals and 132 points. Claiming not only the NHL's record for most goals by a rookie that year, Selanne also claimed the record for most points by a rookie as well as winning the Calder Memorial Trophy.
Selanne would remain with the Winnipeg Jets until the 1995-'96 season when he was traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Packaged together with Marc Chouinard and a forth round draft pick, the Jets got in return Oleg Tverdovsky, Chad Kilger and a third round draft pick. In four seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, Teemu Selanne appeared in 231 games, scoring 147 goals, and recorded 306 points.