July 8, 1995: After an impressive sophomore season as a member of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, future Hall of Fame right winger Jarome Iginla was drafted 11th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.
In junior hockey, Jarome Iginla quickly earned a reputation as a strong two-way power forward with a prolific scoring touch and propensity to win, capturing back to back Memorial Cups Championships in his first two seasons in the WHL.
So it was no surprise the Dallas Stars jumped at the opportunity to draft a young Iginla when he remained available for their first-round pick, 11th overall.
But no one anticipated the Stars would trade Iginla before he ever played a game in the NHL!
Thanks to a contract stalemate between Nieuwendyk and the Calgary Flames during the 1995-96 NHL season, the Dallas Stars traded Iginla to the Flames for the other future Hall of Famer, Joe Nieuwendyk.
And it’s hard to say the trade didn’t work out great for both teams.
Nieuwendyk won the Conn Smythe en route to capturing the Stanley Cup in 1999 — the first and only Stanley Cup in Dallas Stars franchise history.
Meanwhile, Jarome Iginla headed to Calgary where he set all-time franchise records for goals, points, and games played!
Iginla made his NHL debut in the 1996 NHL playoffs where he played two games for the Flames — recording an assist on a Theoren Fleury goal in his first game and scoring a goal in his second.
The following season (1996-97) Iginla led all rookie scorers with 21 goals and 50 points but finished second to Bryan Berard for the Calder Trophy.
By the 2001-02 season, Iginla supplanted himself as one the NHL’s true superstars, leading the league in goals (52) and points (96), earning the Maurice Richard and Art Ross Trophies along with winning the Lester B. Pearson Award / Ted Lindsay Trophy as the league’s most valuable player as voted by his peers.
Plus, he scored 2 goals in the 2002 Olympic Gold Medal game against Team USA en route to his first of two Olympic Golds!
By the start of the 2003-04 season, Jarome Iginla was deservedly named the 18th captain in Calgary Flames history.
In his first season as captain, Iginla went on to win his second Maurice Richard Trophy and led the Flames to their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 15 years, ultimately falling 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in game 7.
In the last year of his contract after years of trying to win the Stanley Cup as a member of the Calgary Flames, Jarome Iginla waived his no-trade clause to join the Pittsburgh Penguins for what proved to be an unsuccessful run at the Cup.
Iginla proceeded to play for the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Los Angeles Kings in hot pursuit of the ever-elusive Stanley Cup Championship before retiring on July 30, 2018.
Jarome Iginla finished his career having played in 1,554 games (14th all-time), recording 625 goals (tied for 16th all-time with Joe Sakic), and 675 assists (64th all-time) for 1,300 points (34th all-time)!
Hardly a surprise that Jarome Iginla is a first ballot Hall of Famer!
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