|08-06-2006, 10:07 PM||#10|
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Nakatomi Plaza
(24champbailey runs to the podium)
(PANTING) The Kings with the 54th pick of the NHL All-time Draft select JARI KURRI!!!
He began his pro career with Jokerit in the Finnish SM-liiga, played his first nine and a half NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, and was then traded to the Los Angeles Kings where he was reunited with Wayne Gretzky. He was traded to the New York Rangers in 1996, where he played for a half season. He was then dealt to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim where he played for 1 season, before finally signing with the Colorado Avalanche, where he would play 1 season.
Kurri won five Stanley Cups, all with Edmonton (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1990). His best season was 1984-85 when he had 135 points and scored 50 goals in his first 50 games, however his 50th game was the Oilers' 53rd game so it does not count as an official 50 goals in 50 games. A year later, he would lead the league in goals with 68. In 1983-84 Kurri set a record for right wingers in goals when he scored 71 goals. The record lasted for seven years and was broken by Brett Hull when he scored 86 goals in 1990-91.
Kurri's 19 goals in the 1985 post-season (18 games played) tied an NHL record set by the Philadelphia Flyers' Reggie Leach in the 1976 playoffs (16 games played). He also had four hat tricks in the conference finals, another feat that no player has ever equalled.
During his tenure in Edmonton, he was nicknamed the "Finnish Flash". While he was definitely a very talented player, Kurri was helped by the fact that he often played with Gretzky (every 5th goal Gretzky scored was assisted by Kurri, while he assisted on 60% of Kurri's goals.) Kurri was often the recipient of Gretzky's passes, but he turned chances into goals with his brilliant finishing ability. Kurri was not a lone sniper; he was "by far our most complete player" according to Oilers' director of personnel Barry Fraser. Although Kurri never won the Selke Trophy, he was regarded as one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL.
Although past his prime when he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, he still had an a strong postseason which helped the team make the Stanley Cup finals for the first time.
He is the first Finn to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. His 1398 points are 18th all-time, and the second highest among Europeans behind Jaromir Jagr. He is 14th in all-time goals with 601. He is the second leading scorer in Oiler history, with 1,043 points in 754 games, behind only Gretzky. His #17 is retired by the Oilers and the Finnish national men's ice hockey team.
Jari Kurri RW ( Oilers, Kings, Rangers, Ducks, Avs)