"I don't think words can describe the emotion that I felt, and the feeling that I had," Gretzky said. "I was pretty tickled. It was a pretty fun moment."
Gretzky, playing for the Los Angeles Kings at the time, took a cross-ice pass from Marty McSorely before scoring the goal. Gretzky and McSorely were longtime teammates with the Edmonton Oilers before teaming up in Los Angeles.
Howe, who retired in 1980, scored 801 goals in 1,767 games over 26 seasons. Gretzky set the record playing in his 1,117th game and 15th season.
He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.
— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft