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Player Preview: Ryan Getzlaf

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
By Kyle Shohara

As we approach training camp and the start of the 2014-15 season, will preview each player on the roster, highlighting last season’s accomplishments and providing insight into what you can expect this season. Our preview continues with Ryan Getzlaf.

It’s hard to believe that the 2014-15 season will mark Ryan Getzlaf’s 10th in the National Hockey League. Many fans can flash back to 2005-06 when Getzlaf and fellow bright-eyed rookie Corey Perry made their NHL debuts with the then-Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Getzlaf and Perry cut their teeth with the big club that year, and also saw time with the Portland Pirates, Anaheim’s former American Hockey League affiliate. That was the last time they ever played in the AHL.

Now, 10 years later, Getzlaf and Perry are one of the most dynamic and skilled duos on the NHL. [Click here for Perry's player preview].

Getzlaf had a banner 2013-14 season, one that saw him finish only behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby in points (104). The Ducks captain recorded 87 points (31g/56a) with a plus-28 rating in 77 games. Getzlaf set career highs in goals and game-winning goals (7), and was also second to Crosby (13) in three-point games (8).

Getzlaf’s consistency placed him third in points-per-game (1.13), fifth in assists and tied for sixth in even-strength goals (26). Anaheim’s fearless leader also ranked tied for second among NHL forwards in blocked shots (87). And for the Ducks, Getzlaf led the team in scoring, assists and power-play points (23), and ranked third in plus/minus.

In the postseason, Getzlaf recorded 15 points (4g/11a) with 10 penalty minutes in 12 games vs. Dallas and Los Angeles, and led the team in scoring and assists, and ranked tied for second in goals. Getzlaf finished the playoffs as the club’s all-time leading scorer in the postseason with 74 points (25g/49a).

Award nominations were plentiful for Getzlaf, who attended the NHL Awards in Las Vegas in June and the ESPYS in July. He was a finalist for three awards at the NHL Awards, which included the 2013-14 Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded annually “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” In addition, Getzlaf was a finalist for the 2013-14 Ted Lindsay Award and 2013-14 Mark Messier Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone. Getzlaf was also a finalist for Best NHL Player at the 2014 ESPYS, marking the first time he was nominated for an ESPY.

In the closing moments of Anaheim’s Game 1 against the Stars, Tyler Seguin wound up for a slap shot that caught Getzlaf flush in the face. A hush fell over the crowd, as Getzlaf skated off with blood dripping from his face. The injury was only described as a “deep laceration” – one that required numerous stitches. Questions regarding his status for Game 2 and the rest of the postseason were put to rest two days later when Getzlaf stepped onto the ice for pregame warm ups sporting a clear protective shield. His presence was immediately felt as he set the tone by delivering a thunderous check on his first shift.

And with his team trailing 1-0 in the closing minutes of the opening period, Getzlaf roofed one short side over Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen. The captain went on to record an assist on Andrew Cogliano’s eventual game-winning shorthanded goal in the third period that gave the Ducks a 2-0 series lead. Getzlaf finished the game with two points, three hits, a plus-3 rating and was named the First Star of the game.

Getzlaf recorded his 600th career point and reached the 30-goal plateau on March 23 vs. Florida, becoming the third player in franchise history to score 600 points (Teemu Selanne - 985, Paul Kariya - 669).

21: The number of multi-point games he recorded last season, including four multi-goal and nine multi-assist performances.

2: The number of hat tricks Getzlaf had last season. His first of the season (and first of his career) occurred on November 8 vs. Buffalo. Getzlaf became the fifth player in club history to score three in a single period and just the second to do so in the first period. His feat also marked the fifth time a Ducks player had four points in a single period. His second career hat trick came on December 21 at New York (Islanders) in his fourth four-point game of 2013-14.

31: The number of penalty minutes he earned in 2013-14, marking his lowest penalty total since his rookie season in 2005-06 (22).

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