On Thursday, Nov. 17, the Winnipeg Jets will be inducting both Teemu Selanne and Teppo Numminen into the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame before their game against the Anaheim Ducks. The team’s hall of fame was established in 2016 to honour the alumni of the Jets and celebrate their accomplishments.
Selanne had an illustrious NHL career, posting 684 goals, 773 assists, and 1457 points in 1451 career games. He played for the Jets, Ducks, San Jose Sharks, and Colorado Avalanche.
Selanne was one of the most respected players in NHL history. He dazzled the league with his lightning-like speed and earned himself the nickname of the “Finnish Flash.” It is no secret that any hockey fan in Winnipeg deeply admires Selanne and what he provided for this city, so this is a look-back of sorts on his best five moments connected to him as a Winnipeg Jet.
5. Teemu Selanne’s Return to Winnipeg on Dec 17, 2011
The raw emotion from the fans in Selanne’s return to Winnipeg is the reason this moment makes the list. He recorded 306 points in 231 games for the Jets, but his impact off the ice and within the community is what made this moment so special.
Selanne was one of the most dominant players of the original Jets era, and his list of accomplishments in a Jets jersey runs very long. He returned as a member of the Ducks, where he spent 15 seasons of his career. His emotional impact and overall meaning to this city’s hockey culture will never be forgotten, and he was remembered for it on this night.
4. Four-Goal Performance vs. North Stars on Feb. 28, 1993
Selanne’s rookie season is the highlight of this list, and his four-goal performance against the Minnesota North Stars was nothing short of spectacular. For obvious reasons, everyone remembers the 54th goal against the Quebec Nordiques.
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This was the game that preceded the iconic moment when Selanne became just the third rookie in NHL history to record 50 goals. Without it, the 54th goal would not have been as special. The Jets were about to go on a four-game road trip where Selanne was guaranteed to hit the record. Instead, he scored seven goals across two games and broke the record in front of the home crowd.
He lit up Winnipeg Arena on this night in what was an electric 7-6 win. The former 10th-overall selection of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft was proving game-by-game that he more than belonged in the big leagues.
3. Second-Fastest to 100 Goals in NHL History
Selanne scored his 100th career goal with the Jets in his 130th career game, which was the second-quickest mark in the history of the NHL, beating out players such as Wayne Gretzky, Pavel Bure, and Maurice Richard. The record still belongs to Mike Bossy, who hit the 100-goal plateau early in his second season in 1978-79.
Selanne’s name is up there with some of the greatest players in NHL history, and rightfully so. In 2017, the NHL named him one of the “100 Greatest Players in NHL History,” and he has this record start to thank for that.
Despite hitting 100 goals early in his second season, Selanne would go on to finish with 147 goals as a member of the Jets, which is good for the seventh-best total of the Jets 1.0 era. He finished first in goals per game as a member of the club, with 0.636 G/GP, beating out legends such as Dale Hawerchuk and Paul MacLean.
2. Greatest Rookie Season in NHL History: 76 Goals in 1992-93
Selanne holds one of the most unbreakable records across all sports. His 76 goals in the 1992-93 season are the most by a rookie in NHL history.
The closest player in recent history was Alexander Ovechkin, who is the best goal scorer of the modern NHL. He scored 52 goals in his rookie season of 2005-06, which was good for third-best all-time but is 24 goals behind what Selanne was able to accomplish.
Selanne put up 76 goals, 56 assists, and 132 points in the 84-game season and greatly aided the Jets to a playoff berth. He put up four goals in six playoff games before being eliminated, but that doesn’t take away from one of the most impressive goal-scoring displays that NHL fans have ever seen.
1. The 54th Goal in Rookie Season, March 2, 1993
52…53…54… Bossy’s record is no more!
When you think of Selanne and his accomplishments, this is the first thing that comes to mind. This was the pinnacle of his unbelievable rookie season when he scored his 54th goal and officially passed Bossy for the most goals by a rookie in NHL history.
He capped it off by doing one of the most iconic celebrations of all time when he threw his glove into the air and shot it back down with his stick. It’s unquestionably one of the most iconic goals ever scored in the NHL and definitely takes first place for most iconic Jets goals.
When Selanne is inducted into the Jets’ Hall of Fame tonight, all of these great memories will flow through the minds of every hockey fan in the arena. It will be yet another reminder of how spoiled Jets fans were to witness such a great hockey player. He is one of the most deserving alumni players to be given this accomplishment for all he has done on and off the ice.
Connor Hrabchak is 20 years old and is currently covering the Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators for The Hockey Writers. He is working towards completing his communications and media degree. He was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He’s been watching hockey ever since the Jets moved back to Winnipeg in 2011, and that has inspired him to write about the sport and attempt to make it into a full-time career.