When thinking of adjectives to describe Corey Perry, what words come to mind? Agitator, dirty, crafty, smooth, and goal-scorer might be some ways in which you can describe half of the Ducks’ one-two punch. Winnipeg Jets’ fans certainly have expressed their opinions:
Whatever your stance may be, Perry has been an integral part of the Anaheim Ducks’ plans for the better part of ten seasons. He has won a Stanley Cup, scored 50 goals in a season, taken home the Hart Memorial Trophy, and been the player fan’ love to hate. But looking at the career of the Haileybury, Ontario-native shows just how prolific his career has been.
The Early Years
Born on May 16, 1985, Corey Perry possessed a knack for winning. In minor hockey, he helped lead his AAA Bantam Peterborough Minor Petes to a championship. In 2001, Perry amassed 59 points in 60 games for the London Knights, making the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 28th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Unbeknown to most, Perry was almost traded for Mike Comrie and the Edmonton Oilers in 2003. Thankfully for Ducks fans, Comrie did not want to pay to be traded, leaving Perry with the Ducks. Unfazed by trade rumors, Perry then accounted for 113 points in 66 games for the Knights during the 2003-04 OHL campaign. Not to be outdone, the next season he scored 130 points in 60 games, including 38 additional points in the postseason to help lead the Knights to a Memorial Cup championship.
Clearly, something special was brewing for Perry and the Ducks.
The Big Show
The 2005-06 season was one in which Perry began making his claim on NHL ice surfaces. Scoring his first career goal on October 10, 2005, Perry spent most of his first professional season bouncing between the Ducks and their AHL affiliate Portland Pirates. He ended his first season with 25 points if 56 games with the parent club.
Bigger and better things awaited Perry and the Ducks in 2006-07, ultimately ending in the Ducks’ first and only Stanley Cup championship. This was also the year the Ducks’ famous “Kid Line” emerged with Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Dustin Penner. Perry played his first full 82-game NHL schedule, scoring 44 points and tallying another 15 points in 21 games in the postseason.
Perry’s true status as a dangerous two-way forward began to blossom during the 2008-09 season. While leading the team in goals (32) and finishing second in points (72), Perry also accounted for 108 penalty minutes, announcing to the league that he was not someone to be taken lightly.
Besides capturing his first Stanley Cup, perhaps the most impressive feat for Perry came during the 2010-11 NHL season. Not only did he notch 50 goals, he won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, the Hart Memorial Trophy, and finished third overall in league scoring with 98 points. All this was done with Teemu Selanne only playing 73 games and Getzlaf 67.
To put his MVP-season in perspective, Perry entered the 67th game of the season with only 31 goals. Over the next 15 games, he would amass 19 more, a truly astonishing feat to end the year and lead the Ducks to the 4th seed in the Western Conference. Perry also took 104 penalties in minutes to boot. The cherry on top came against San Jose to give him the 50 goals:
Corey Perry is truly in elite company. Along with Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Niedermayer, Perry has won at every level he has played: Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, Olympic Gold, World Junior Championship, and the World Cup of Hockey. Out of thousands of NHL players, only two have sipped from that many trophies.
He has also delivered highlight-reel goals such as these:
Anaheim Ducks fans have been spoiled with Perry’s accolades and goal-scoring abilities. Although his game has certainly slipped of late, Perry is always dangerous once his skates hit the ice. As Perry goes, so go the Ducks, both on the scoreboard and emotionally. If Perry is at the top of his game, the Ducks should have no problem making the playoffs.